Published: Thu, September 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Roberts born an Indian citizen, court told

Roberts born an Indian citizen, court told

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts' claims he did everything he could to renounce his British citizenship before the federal election will be tested in the High Court in Brisbane today.

Senator Roberts is one of seven MPs caught out by the Australian constitutional law preventing federal politicians from holding dual citizenship.

Despite the fact that a mountain of evidence suggests that he was nearly definitely a British citizen at the time of his election, Roberts has always asserted he's held no other citizenship than Australian.

Section 44 of the constitution prohibits dual citizens from serving in the Federal Parliament.

He said he first wrote to the British Consulate on May 1, 2016, and never heard back, so wrote again five weeks later with another message saying he renounced his citizenship "effective immediately".

"I would be happy to say that because no one has ever shown me I had citizenship of another country".

His first email, titled "Am I still a British citizen" was sent to a domain ending in.uksydney, the ABC reported.

Their argument was that his attempts to email the British Home Office to notify them he meant to renounce his citizenship was enough.

The High Court of Australia has been told British nationality law is probably the most complicated on the planet.

One of the email addresses had been decommissioned in 2010, and the other flat-out did not exist and barely had the structure of a standard email address.

'Course he was born in India and didn't move to Australia until he was 19 years old. (The email on June 6 was sent to three addresses - one of which was correct).

"I certainly would have asked, and this is all speculation, 'What is this about because I'm already Australian?' but I can't recall any of that", Senator Roberts said on Thursday.

Senator Roberts said he would likely have found the email addresses on Google. "When I travelled I was always treated as an Australian".

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.

Roberts Newlinds SC, for Senator Roberts, said when his client nominated for the Senate on June 8 he did not believe he was a British citizen.

But the Queensland senator has no recollection of signing the document and suspects his father would have told him, "Here, sign this".

She told him they were "stateless".

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