By DEMAS TIEN
THE Supreme Court has given two weeks to the Immigration Office to process the remaining 147 asylum seekers on Manus Island.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia told parties to work together to fast-track the identification process of the remaining asylum seekers.
Lawyer Ben Lomai, representing the asylum seekers, told the court yesterday that he would assist the other parties to process the remaining asylum seekers. The other parties consisted of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato, the National Executive Council and the State.
They will return on July 15 to inform the court on the final list of the refugees and non-refugees out of the 147 asylum seekers.
Pato’s lawyer Laias Kandi told the court that after the asylum seekers were processed and identified as refugees, they would wait for the minister’s final determination on whether they were genuine refugees.
He said those identified as genuine refugees would receive a formal notice of their new status. Those identified as non-refugees will be issued a removal notice.
Kandi said 545 asylum seekers had been identified as refugees and 76 were identified as non-refugees in the initial process.
He informed the court yesterday that another 242 asylum seekers had been processed.
The court is taking steps to ensure its decision issued on April 26 in the application filed by former Opposition leader Belden Namah is seen through.
In Namah’s application, the court found that the detention of the asylum seekers at Manus processing centre was unconstitutional and illegal.
By DEMAS TIEN