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'Honeymoon Killer' released to detention cent -

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STEVE CANNANE, PRESENTER: The future for American Gabe Watson remains uncertain following his
release from a Queensland prison early this morning.

The so-called "Honeymoon Killer" is now in a Victorian immigration detention centre.

The Australian Government is demanding assurances from Washington that he won't face the death
penalty if deported.

From Brisbane, Natalie Poyhonen reports.

NATALIE POYHONEN, REPORTER: Gabe Watson's first moments as a free man started under intense
scrutiny.

He left the confines of a prison cell, but was immediately transferred into immigration custody and
taken to Brisbane Airport before being sent to a Melbourne detention centre.

But there's confusion over when he'll ultimately be sent back to the United States.

UNNAMED MAN: The only thing I've been told is that it could take weeks or it could take months.

NATALIE POYHONEN: The convicted killer could be released into the community if he's granted a
temporary visa.

CHRIS BOWEN, IMMIGRATION MINISTER: He is entitled to make an application to me, which I will then
be duty-bound to consider.

NATALIE POYHONEN: Gabe Watson has completed the 18-month sentence for his wife's manslaughter
during their Australian honeymoon in 2003.

Authorities in his home state of Alabama want to charge him over Tina Watson's death and they've
promised he won't face execution if convicted.

But the Australian Government says that guarantee has to come from a federal level before they hand
him over.

CHRIS BOWEN: Once we have that, then I would take steps to deport him expeditiously to the United
States.

NATALIE POYHONEN: But Alabama's top prosecutor says their Federal Government doesn't have control
over the state's actions.

DON VALESKA, ALABAMA ASST ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Not under the US Constitution or Alabama Constitution.
I mean, we are a sovereign state and they haven't interfered in our proceedings before.

NATALIE POYHONEN: Tina Watson's family say they don't know what's going on.

TOMMY THOMAS, TINA'S FATHER: He's been given a lot more consideration and treated more like the
victim than our daughter Tina has been.

NATALIE POYHONEN: Gabe Watson will be detained for at least another night while the deportation
negotiations take place.

Natalie Poyhonen, Lateline