Dr Schram allowed to travel

Former Unitech vice chancellor, Dr Albert Schram, has been allowed by the court to travel to Italy.

The Waigani National Court granted leave to Schram’s bail variation application today, allowing him to travel out of the country.

The former two-term VC, who is on a tourist visa, was granted permission to temporarily leave the country and travel to Italy.

The purpose of his trip is to go back to the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and bring his original PhD certificate, which is the subject of his case in the Committal Court.

The court, in granting leave, said his visa will expire on 31 May, and as a matter of law, he must exit the country before that date or face further prosecution under the migration law.

This was seen as an urgent personal reason to leave the country.

Justice Panuel Mogish said it would be “suicidal” academically and career wise to leave the country and run away from the allegation, thus destroying his character and reputation as a scholar, an academic and two time administrator of a premier university.

“I do not think any reasonable man would just walk away leaving a trial of serious allegation unanswered. His standing in the academic world would be seriously affected,” Justice Mogish added.

Dr Schram’s passport, which is kept at the Waigani District Court, will be returned to him for travel.

He is to surrender the passport to the Waigani National Court registry within 24 hours upon his return.

Dr Schram is to pay an additional cash bail of K8,000 on top of the K2,000 bail he is currently on before he travels.

Two guarantors who will ensure he returns to the country by June 12 are to pledge an amount of K10,000 each. 

A copy of the court order from today will be presented to the Chief Migration Officer.

The cloud over Dr Schram’s qualification is not new, it dates far back to 2012, which was raised by the former Unitech council.

Sally Pokiton