Pruaitch in a statement said the deportation proves that the government has no respect for the rule of law and for due processes.
He said the Government ignored a stay order from the Kokopo National Court and a prohibition on any airline from carrying out the deportation of the New Zealand citizen.
Tennent, the Administrator of the Catholic Archdiocese of Rabaul and a former law lecturer at the University of PNG, was deported for reported involvement with landowner issues in East New Britain.
The Archbishop of Rabaul, Francesco Panfilo, has described the deportation order as “a very sad moment for the Church and the voiceless people”.
Pruaitch said the deportation, despite a legitimate stay order, is a symptom of the same problem which has shown itself in a number of ways in recent years, including the manner in which the K3 billion UBS loan was negotiated without participation of the Department of Treasury.
However, according to the Catholic Bishops Conference, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had instructed the Immigration Department to prepare Tennent’s visa and bring him back to PNG.
Tennent was arrested by immigration officials on June 9 and flown to New Zealand on June 12 after his alleged involvement with villagers who were taking legal action against a giant Malaysian logging company.
The Catholic Bishops Conference said: “This is an example of corruption of the highest order in Papua New Guinea to protect and safeguard some big companies and national leaders.”
Picture courtesy of ABC