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SL doctor who killed husband, allowed to stay in Australia

The Sri Lankan-born doctor Chamari Liyanage, who killed her abusive husband in Western Australia in 2014, will be allowed to stay in the country after the Department of Immigration reinstated her visa, the ABC Radio Australia reported on Thursday.

Chamari Liyanage is serving a four-year prison term after being convicted of the manslaughter of fellow doctor Dinendra Athukorala at their home in the West Australian town of Geraldton in June 2014.

She was acquitted of the more serious charge of murder and has been eligible to apply for parole since June.

Her application for parole is due to be heard next month, but there were fears that if it was granted, she would be moved into immigration detention and possibly deported because her visa was cancelled while behind bars.

However, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has revoked its decision to cancel the visa after considering her case.

It means that if granted parole, the 37-year-old doctor will be released back into the community.

Her immigration lawyer Alisdair Putt said Liyanage cried when she learned she was able to stay.

"She's thankful for all the support she's gotten from a considerable number of people in the community. She was obviously very emotional but so relieved."

The decision comes after an appeal by prominent domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty last month.

In a letter to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton obtained by the ABC, Ms Batty wrote:

"Australia is a country to which people like Dr. Liyanage come to live in the hope they will be able to live free safe lives.

During Liyanage's trial, the court heard the couple's five-year marriage was defined by the "worst kind" of escalating sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

The court heard Athukorala kept 13 terabytes of encrypted child exploitation and bestiality images.

In an appeal to Mr. Dutton, Liyanage took full responsibility for what she did and said there was little to no chance of her reoffending.

She also said she planned to raise awareness about domestic violence upon her release.
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