Be­lief enough for Mal­colm

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - MATTHEW KIL­LO­RAN

ONE Na­tion Se­na­tor Mal­colm Roberts said he should keep his job be­cause he “be­lieved” that he was not Bri­tish when nom­i­nat­ing for elec­tion, and it was ir­rel­e­vant that at the time “he ap­pre­ci­ated he might be wrong”.

In a sub­mis­sion to the High Court lodged yes­ter­day, his le­gal team ar­gued he had the strong­est case of any of the seven fed­eral MPs at­tempt­ing to prove their el­i­gi­bil­ity in the dual-cit­i­zen­ship scan­dal be­cause he had demon­strated he did not want to be a cit­i­zen of an­other coun­try.

Se­na­tor Roberts, who was born in In­dia to a Welsh fa­ther and did not be­come an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen un­til 1974, filed his sub­mis­sion to the High Court late after miss­ing the Thurs­day dead­line. The court heard last week that he sent emails last year to UK au­thor­i­ties at­tempt­ing to re­nounce his cit­i­zen­ship with the sub­ject “Am I still a Bri­tish cit­i­zen?”, ini­tially to de­funct email ad­dresses.

He even­tu­ally suc­ceeded in send­ing the email, but only after he filled out his can­di­date’s nom­i­na­tion form.

His sub­mis­sion said his case was unique among the seven MPs be­fore the court.

“Se­na­tor Roberts be­lieved he was an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen and only an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen, but was aware there was a real and sub­stan­tial prospect he might also be a Bri­tish cit­i­zen,” it said.

“His sub­jec­tive be­lief was that he was only Aus­tralian. He, how­ever, alone sen­si­bly ap­pre­ci­ated the pos­si­bil­ity he might be wrong.

“Se­na­tor Roberts’ case is stronger than those who pro­fess ig­no­rance and thus did noth­ing.”

There are seven sit­ting or for­mer fed­eral politi­cians fac­ing the High Court over the cit­i­zen­ship scan­dal: Deputy Pre­mier Barn­aby Joyce and sen­a­tors Roberts, Matt Cana­van, Fiona Nash and Nick Xenophon, as well as for­mer Greens sen­a­tors Larissa Wa­ters and Scott Lud­lam.

DREAM: Phoebe Phillips is on her way to a dream ca­reer, start­ing as a First Light Rac­ing am­bas­sador. Pic­ture: Liam Kid­ston.

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