Fijians flee to Simberi

National, Normal


THE 14 Fijians accused of illegally working in the country have fled back to the Simberi gold mine in New Ireland province.
They were supposed to be in the Immigration Department custody at Boroko’s Noko Guesthouse, while their case is heard in court.
They went into hiding soon after the court hearing last Thursday with the Immigration
authorities combing the National Capital District to determine their whereabouts.
The 14 Fijians got on an Airlines PNG charter last Friday morning and flew to Simberi, government authorities working on their case said.
This was confirmed by O’Brien Lawyers, the lawyers representing the Fijians.
Their employers had also arranged for the 14 to fly out of PNG via Honiara to Fiji yesterday morning.
However, Immigration authorities, knowing that the National Court had got their undertaking not to deport them, took out an order and issued it to all airlines stopping them from airlifting the 14 from the country until the hearing, currently in progress, is completed.
National Court judge Justice Ambeng Kandakasi, in a hearing last Thursday, said he would not entertain any further hearing until the Fijians prove that they were legally in the country.
The Fijians are claiming in court that they were illegally detained by Papua New Guinea authorities.
But their fleeing to Simberi could land them with a lot of bother in court.
An official said their leaving Port Moresby was in itself a breach of the Immigration Act and also contempt of the National Court.
Yesterday, Immigration authorities said the 14 Fijians and their employer “took us to court, they must remain in the country until the court process they instituted is completed”.