PM prefers minister to the courts for terror suspects

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has defended his push to empower the immigration minister, rather than the courts, to strip Australian citizenship from dual national terror suspects.

Speaking to reporters in Cairns on Friday, Mr Abbott said: "What happens if they get off? That's the problem.

"We all know that there are evidentiary issues with prosecutions of people for offences abroad."

On Thursday, Mr Abbott accused Labor of "rolling out the red carpet" to terrorists and announced that laws allowing the immigration minister to strip Australian citizenship from dual nationals suspected of terrorism would go to the coalition party room next Tuesday and the parliament on Wednesday.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said the Opposition was uncomfortable about giving a minister the power to act against a person who had not been convicted of a terror offence.

He said he supported stripping citizenship from dual nationals involved in terrorism, but only with adequate legal safeguards.

"People who are fighting, people who are participating and breaking counter-terrorism law in Syria and Iraq, should be prosecuted and convicted. Those are the Prime Minister's words," Mr Dreyfus told The Nation on Sky News.