29 Dec 2011

NZer deported from PNG may be victim of political stoush

10:04 pm on 29 December 2011

A New Zealander who runs a well known restaurant in the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, has been deported; and there are reports he is the victim of the political tug-of-war going on there.

The Post Courier newspaper says immigration and police officers went to Graham Osborne's house on Wednesday with a search warrant.

They were looking for an unregistered gun, drugs and pornography but the paper quotes a friend of Mr Osborne, saying they found nothing.

Even so, Mr Osborne, who has lived in PNG for many years, was driven to the airport by police and put on a flight to Cairns.

He is a close friend of Sir Michael Somare who has been in a battle for the control of the government with Peter O'Neill.

Sir Michael's group had used the Ela Beach Hotel, where Mr Osborne's restaurant is located, as their temporary meeting place during recent political turmoil.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the deportation.

In a brief statement it says consular assistance has been offered to the New Zealander and that it understands a lawyer has been engaged in PNG.