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By Julia Daia Bore

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 23) - An African man in Papua New Guinea has been charged with overstaying his visa by nearly six months.

Robert Martin Madiba Magni, 46, from Gabon in Central Africa, appeared before the Boroko District Court last Monday and his case adjourned until April 9.

The Gabonese man first appeared at the Boroko District Court on Monday and has been allowed out on PGK1,500 [US$519] court bail and will appear on April 9.

The Boroko District Court has also ruled that the African be allowed out on bail subject to three guarantors who have also paid PGK500 [US$173] to ensure that he does not escape the full court trial.

Magni pleaded not guilty to the charges of overstaying his visa.

He has claimed that his employers -- an accounting firm -- had failed to pay for his visa extension.

Magni arrived in Papua New Guinea on July 26, 2005, and was supposed to have gone home on September 26, 2005, but never boarded the plane.

He was arrested in Port Moresby recently after flying in from Goroka where he had been living with the hope of working as a mine engineer.

[PIR editor’s note: Goroka is in the central part of Papua New Guinea’s mainland peninsula, northwest of the national capital of Port Moresby.]

Information furnished by police said Magni was originally brought in by a company, which had since tried to send him out of Papua New Guinea five times without success.

The documents said that on each time, Magni had gone into hiding. He was eventually dispatched to Port Moresby last November with the intention of flying out but escaped into hiding the next day until he was nabbed.

Magni has been ordered to report to the District Court clerk on Mondays and Fridays.

March 24, 2006

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