O’Neill clarifies status in court

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By CHARLES MOI
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill, pictured, yesterday filed documents in court to prove that he, like any other non-citizen of Australia, needs a visa to enter that country.
Court documents obtained by The National included an affidavit from O’Neill filed by Twivey Lawyers at the National Court registry in Waigani yesterday.
It included O’Neill’s multiple-entry business visa granted by the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby on July 4 last year.
The visa, according to the notice, allows him to stay in Australia for a maximum of three months at one time. His “last date to arrive” is July 4, 2023, meaning the visa expires then.
O’Neill’s lawyer Tiffany Twivey told The National last night that she filed the affidavit to prove that O’Neill was a Papua New Guinea citizen and does not hold an Australian citizenship as recently claimed by Madang MP Bryan Kramer and others in the Opposition camp.
“You cannot have an Australian visa and an Australian passport at the same time,” Twivey said.
“They (Australian immigration) won’t let you do it.”
Twivey also clarified that the substantive case between O’Neill and Kramer was filed at the National Court in Waigani registry on April 16.
She said Kramer was served the writ of summons the next day in Port Moresby.
O’Neill filed the case after Kramer allegedly made defamatory remarks against him on social media, in particular Facebook.
Under that defamation case, Twivey also filed a notice of motion to restrain Kramer from:

  • Talking about the court case in the media – including social media; and,
  • Publishing further defamatory imputations about O’Neill.

She said the notice of motion was to have been returned on May 18 at the National Court in Waigani.
But the matter was adjourned to June 6.
Twivey said while that case was pending, Kramer went ahead and published information which questioned O’Neill’s PNG citizenship status.
Twivey said the motion on the restraining orders was scheduled to be heard on June 6 although she has written to the registry to have the matter heard urgently.
O’Neill claims in the affidavit that he is not an Australian citizen nor does he hold an Australian passport.
He needs a visa to enter Australia.
“I am a citizen of Papua New Guinea and hold a current Papua New Guinea passport.”

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