Nauruan politicians to appear in court

  • 13/07/2015
The Parliament House building of the small island nation of Nauru (Reuters)
The Parliament House building of the small island nation of Nauru (Reuters)

A Nauruan politician is set to make a legal bid to return to his family in New Zealand.

Opposition MP Roland Kun was pulled off a New Zealand-bound plane by Nauru officials on June 17 and had his passport cancelled.

Mr Kun will appear in the Supreme Court of Nauru today to challenge the cancellation of his passport, after a hearing last week was postponed.

He has not been charged with anything but authorities say he was involved in protests at parliament during which three opposition MPs were arrested and have left him trapped on the island indefinitely.

He denies any involvement.

Mr Kun's partner, Katy Le Roy, was last year fired as the island nation'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.

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

They currently have no legal representation.

The third, Mathew Batsiua, will appear today to ask for a stay of proceedings after his was denied access to his lawyer.

He is out on bail on the condition he does not speak to media.

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.

"I have asked ministry officials to complete discussions regarding our current concerns prior to the next tranche of New Zealand funding to Nauru, which is currently scheduled for August this year," he said in a statement.

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.

NZN