Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, responded to a lengthy enquiry into the state of the Manus Processing Centre by Member for Rabaul, Dr. Allan Marat, saying simply that the Processing Centre was “not a mess”.
He assured that the State was working closely with the Australian government and the U.N to finalise repatriation arrangements.
Dr. Marat fired at a dozen questions at Pato regarding legality of the detention centers operation, in the light of an alleged rape that occurred last year.
When accused of direct contempt of court in letting it operate this was what Pato had to say:
“There are clearly refugees who have left the facility and are freely moving about Manus Island. This is not our intent but we are a law abiding country. We work within the framework of our constitution and the international laws which are administered by the U.N and there is a ruling that require we must allow their freedom to leave the facility, so we are not in contempt of the law.”
He assured that the situation was in the hands of “competent people” with the support of Australia and the U.N International Organisation for Migration.