Gabe Watson, the American man convicted of the manslaughter of this wife on their honeymoon, will be sent back to the United States after deciding not to challenge a deportation order.


He is being held in Melbourne’s Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre, and is expected to be put on a plane today.

But his lawyer Adrian Braithwaite says he is not aware when his client will be leaving.

He says Watson decided not to challenge a deportation order after receiving correspondence between the Australian and US governments.

Watson spent 18 months in a Brisbane jail after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his wife Tina during a honeymoon scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef in 2003.

Mr Braithwaite said his client had considered contesting a deportation order.

“It was certainly a position we were considering while the Australian government was refusing to provide the correspondence it had been receiving from America which contained the so-called assurances,” he said.

“Whilst I personally wasn’t entirely convinced about the enforceability of what America has provided … that was all

considered by Gabe as well as the advice from his US attorney and he’s decided to return.”

Mr Braithwaite said that while he was not sure of his client’s feelings, he expected he would be having mixed emotions about his return.

“If it was me in his shoes, I’d be feeling a mix of relief to be returning to my family and my home state and probably a great deal of concern as well,” he said.

“He’s, of course, facing first degree murder charges … which, if convicted, could result in life in prison.”