Roberts sent emails to non-existent addresses to renounce British citizenship, court hears

Elias Hubbard
September 21, 2017

One Nation's Malcolm Roberts is being questioned in the High Court in Brisbane about whether he had dual citizenship.

The One Nation senator says said he wrote to British authorities in June 2016, just days before nominations closed saying he did not believe he was a British citizen, but "just in case I am, I renounce it, effective immediately".

Senator Roberts is one of seven federal politicians embroiled in the dual citizenship crisis gripping Canberra, including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

The court heard Roberts said he found the email addresses "from his research on the internet".

While the One Nation senator first arrived in Australia in 1962, Roberts also told the courtroom that he "had always believed I was Australian" and rejected the suggestion that the "Am I still a British citizen?" email subject line was any proof that he was aware of a possible dual citizenship.

A third email address used for the second message, however, was valid and correct.

Roberts is one of seven politicians now involved in a dual citizenship scandal that could have ramifications for his place in the Federal Parliament.

At age 19, Senator Robert's 16-year-old sister filled out his form to become an Australian citizen.

He said when he nominated as a candidate, he was sure he was Australian.

Roberts was cross-examined about his citizenship ahead of a full hearing on the matter in October.

"My inquiry was to see whether or not, to explore the possibility of being British", he said.

"I believed I was always Australian and only Australian".

The Queensland senator has previously claimed he believed he was only ever a citizen of Australia.

"He never contradicted me on my statement that I was an Australian".

However, his own barrister, Mr Newlinds, said it was inevitable Justice Patrick Keane would find that by the time Senator Roberts wrote the emails, he would have understood at some level he was probably British up to the time of Australian naturalisation - but he believed he was exclusively Australian when he nominated for the election. Roberts now claims he signed it without reading it.

"I was 19 and more keen on football than on filling out forms", Roberts said, according to a Fairfax report.

The court heard he then asked his sister Barbara Roberts what his nationality was and she told him they had been "stateless".

Today, Roberts, who has been emphatic about his sole Australian citizenship, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, was quizzed in the High Court in Brisbane today, and his responses contained several surprising revelations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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