5 Jan 2011

Baure still in PNG jail despite getting bail

1:10 pm on 5 January 2011

The detained leader of a Papua New Guinea group campaigning for Australian citizenship, Jonathan Baure, is still in a Port Moresby jail despite being granted bail.

According to the newspaper, The National, the finance department is still closed for the holiday season and cannot receive bail payments.

Mr Baure was arrested last month on fraud charges for selling certificates as part of his claim that Papuans born before independence in 1975 are Australians.

His group, Papua Australia Plaintiff United Affiliates, planned to travel to Australia just before Christmas as it wants Canberra to recognise that Papuans were not given a choice to remain Australians in 1975.

Only one of the 16 dinghies trying to cross Torres Strait made it to the Australian mainland, and the more than 100 supporters of his campaign were detained by Australia and sent back to PNG.

Mr Baure is due for a committal hearing in early February.