By EION BLACKWELL of AAP
THE Papua New Guinea government says it has started the process of revoking citizenship for wanted Indonesian fugitive Djoko Tjandra.Djoko fled Indonesia in 2009, one day before the nation's Supreme Court convicted him in absentia for misusing government bailout funds meant for the now defunct Bank of Bali.
Controversially Djoko was awarded PNG citizenship last June and issued a passport under the name Joe Chan, despite being wanted by Interpol and the Indonesian government.
"Mr Tjandra is currently wanted by Indonesian authorities and has an outstanding arrest warrant issued in Indonesia," the PNG government's chief secretary, Manasupe Zurenuoc, said in a letter to Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato.
"The issuing of a passport under a different name allows Mr Tjandra to travel freely and evade the Indonesian authorities."
After securing the name change on his passport, Djoko as Joe Chan obtained visas to Taiwan and Japan.
The issuance of the passport is now the subject of an investigation by the PMG Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
Mr Zurenuoc said clear grounds exist for the passport issued to Djoko to be cancelled, notwithstanding the outcome of the investigation by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
Deputy opposition leader Sam Basil told the Post-Courier newspaper "two Papuan ministers" allegedly involved with Djoko must be disciplined.
The newspaper report said Mr Basil was referring to Public Services Minister Sir Puka Temu and former foreign affairs minister Ano Pala, who reportedly pushed for Djoko's citizenship to be approved.
"The two ministers must be dealt with," Mr Basil said.
"We are waiting and Papua New Guinea is waiting."
Mr Pala late last year told parliament Djoko was being defamed and should be afforded the rights and privileges PNG citizenship.