Stateless man’s status to be determined

Australia has rejected a former convicted criminal as an Australian citizen and he is now living in PNG without proper documents.

But according to PNG Laws, he is not a PNG citizen either.

Lawyers at the Public Solicitor’s appeared at the Waigani National Court on Friday seeking an urgent application to have the PNG Immigration Office provide him food and shelter while waiting for his documents to be processed and for the Court to determine his citizenship status.

Daniel Frank Charlie, 45, is walking around in Port Moresby freely without proper immigration documents.

He currently lives with a man from Wabag in Gerehu but he wants to go back to Torres Strait, Australia, where he calls home and where most of his family live.

According his lawyer, Charlie was born in Daru in 1973 and moved with his family to Torres Strait in April of 1975, four months before PNG’s Independence.

His lawyer said, as per both countries’ laws, he automatically becomes an Australian citizen; he only needed to apply for natural citizenship under Australian laws.

He however, did not do that.

He was then involved in an armed robbery and was moved from prison to prison until he was released.

Charlie got into trouble again with the law when he was involved in a fight.

This time, Australian authorities have had enough of him and decided to deport him to PNG, a decision that was halted by former Chief Migration Officer, the late Mataio Rabura.

When Rabura passed away, Charlie was deported to PNG against his will.

Lawyers at the Public Solicitor’s Office have stepped in to assist him, registering his matter at the National Court to have the Court clarify and declare which country he belongs to.

His next court hearing is on February 28, 2018.

Charmaine Poriambep