Nauru MP waits in battle to return to NZ

  • 13/07/2015
Nauru MP waits in battle to return to NZ

By Boris Jancic

A Nauruan politician fighting to return to his family in New Zealand has been left in limbo again as he waits for the island nation's government to respond to a legal challenge.

Roland Kun has been kept in Nauru without official charges since he was taken off a plane on June 17 and his passport cancelled by Nauruan authorities.

His family have lived in New Zealand since his partner, Katy Le Roy, was last year fired as Nauru's parliamentary counsel and had her residence status revoked in what Mr Kun called a personal attack.

She now lives in Wellington with the couple's three children and is banned from travelling to Nauru.

Mr Kun today appeared in the Supreme Court of Nauru to lodge an appeal against the cancellation of his visa.

But he must now wait another week as the Government is yet to submit its documents for the hearing and has until Friday to do so.

The case will be heard again on July 20.

"I am pretty confident because I remain uncharged, so whatever the Government is accusing me of doing, I am still not charged on any crime," he told NZ Newswire.

The Nauruan government has said Mr Kun is under investigation for his alleged part in a protest outside the country's parliament in June for which three other MPs were arrested, but he denies any involvement.

Two of the arrested MPs, former president Sprent Dabwido and Squire Jeremiah, will appear in court on Friday, after having their first bail application last week rejected.

The third, Mathew Batsiua, is on bail on the condition he does not speak to media.

All three are currently without legal representation because the Government has declined visas for their lawyers.

Last week, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully took the Nauruan government to task over the deteriorating state of its democracy and rule of law.

New Zealand is the principal funding group of Nauru's justice system.

Last year, the Nauruan government forced the island's then-only judge out of office and suspended most of the opposition from parliament indefinitely.

Local media are prohibited from speaking to the Opposition and citizens have been stopped from accessing Facebook.