Refugee Sawari's trial deferred to end of month

The trial against Iranian refugee, Loghman Sawari at the Waigani District Court has been deferred to March 27.

The trial was supposed to commence on Tuesday however it was deferred because police prosecution were unable to organise witnesses in time.

Sawari and his lawyer Loani Henao appeared before Magistrate Mekeo Gauli today.

With the deferral of the trial, the court told police prosecution to make copies of the state witnesses to Sawari's lawyers next week.

His bail of K1,000 has been extended and he is to continue reporting to the Waigani District Court registry.

The 21-year-old was arrested and charged 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 used to leave PNG for Fiji.

He was arrested on February 3 at the Jackson’s International Airport after he got deported from Fiji.

Summary of facts before the court says he used a passport bearing the name Junior Charles Sawari to travel to Fiji. The passport was obtained through a consultant, Junior Aisa, who allegedly submitted the falsified information to Immigration on July 8, 2016. A fee of K1,000 was paid to Aisa for this service.

That passport was released from the PNG Immigration on Aug 2, 2016, and collected by Aisa.

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 in a police vehicle on his way to Bomana outside Port Moresby after his bail application was moved in court last month. Loop PNG picture by Kennedy Bani)

Sally Pokiton