CORNELIA RAU, recently jailed in Jordan after wandering the Middle East unmedicated, has been secretly returned to Australia, after her family requested government help.
Ms Rau, 43, a South Australian resident, arrived at Sydney Airport at dawn yesterday, accompanied by a male guardian, her sister Christine, another woman believed to be a nurse and a contingent of Australian Federal Police officers.
Officers escorted her to a van with tinted windows. She was taken to a secure part of the domestic terminal, where she showered and changed, emerging two hours later.
The Rau contingent boarded a flight to Adelaide, taking seats at the front of business class. During the flight, Ms Rau strolled through the aircraft chatting to people she did not know, passengers and crew members said.
In the arrivals area at Adelaide Airport, Ms Rau was greeted by friends under the watchful eye of an AFP officer, before being taken to a waiting government-plated van, accompanied by her nurse and guardian.
Other government vehicles followed in a convoy to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she was taken to the psychiatric unit, the Cramond Clinic. Ms Rau is expected to undergo psychiatric testing before a decision is made concerning her release.
Ms Rau, who suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was detained last month while behaving erratically in the city of Tafila, in southern Jordan.
It was the latest unfortunate incident involving the Australian-German dual national since South Australian guardianship authorities began allowing her to travel overseas last June.
She has since been forcibly hospitalised in Germany and barred from Turkey.
In February last year, Ms Rau received $2.6 million compensation from the Federal Government for being unlawfully detained in a Brisbane jail and the Baxter detention centre for 10 months in 2004-05 as part of the Government's mandatory detention program. It had been presumed she was a lost German citizen.