Refugee to ask court for bail

Lawyer representing Iranian refugee Loghman Sawari will ask the Waigani National Court for bail today.

 He is seeking bail in the National Court after he was arrested and charged with two more charges under the Migration Act on April 4.

The 21 year old refugee was taken to the Waigani Police Station on the afternoon of April 4, straight from his court trial at the Waigani District Court by police and Immigration officials.

He was then charged for making False Representation under section 16(1)(e) of the Migration act.

He has been held in custody at the Waigani Police station since his arrest.

He was also charged under section 16(1)(k) of the same act for using a passport which was fraudulently obtained.

His case under these new charges was briefly mentioned in the District court last week by Magistrate John Kaumi. Sawari was not in court and the matter was adjourned to a later date.

Under section 16 of the Migration act, (1) A person who; (e) makes or causes to be made a false return, false statement, false representation, or wilfully withholds any relevant fact or information in connection with an obligation imposed on him under or by virtue of this Act; or (k) without lawful authority has in his possession or uses a forged, unlawfully altered, or irregular passport or entry permit or a passport or entry permit in which an endorsement has been forged or unlawfully altered; is guilty of an offence.

The Penalty is a fine not exceeding K5,000.00 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

Sawari was first arrested on Feb 3 for providing false information for the purpose of obtaining a PNG passport from the PNG Immigration and Citizen Services Authority, a charge that falls under section 16 (1) of the Passport Act of 1982.

 He allegedly used false identification to obtain travel documents which he later used to leave PNG for Fiji.

For the first case, his lawyer, Loani Henao told the court on Tuesday that there was no evidence that he used a PNG Passport, number e133854 to travel out nor obtained the passport from falsified information. A ruling on the no-case submission is expected on April 11.

Sawari arrived in PNG from Christmas Island in 2013 as a 17-year-old seeking asylum.

He was processed in Manus and given a refugee status.

 (Loop PNG file picture of Sawari walking out of court on April 4.)

Sally Pokiton