Heartless publicity stunt by PNG’s deputy prime minister
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Albert Schram – after the venality of PNG, gratefully moving on

Schram case PC 29 JanALBERT SCHRAM

On Tuesday, after six months, the allegation of “false pretence” concerning Dr Schram’s PhD credentials was thrown out of the Port Moresby magistrate’s court for lack of evidence. Presiding magistrate A Kalandi struck out the case against Dr Schram and discharged him. But Mr Kalandi ordered that Dr Schram forfeit K2,000 bail for not appearing in court and stated he could be arrested if he returned to Papua New Guinea.

The academic had good reasons for not appearing. As he writes on his blog, he had been “in a no-win situation, unable to prove my innocence after being falsely accused, wrongfully dismissed, maliciously prosecuted and unlawfully detained”. You can read Dr Schram’s full account here. What follows is an extract about the life he and his wife Paulina are now leading in his hometown in Italy.

VERONA - Many readers have asked how we are doing after this ordeal. Today, I have moved on.

I feel relieved to be free from those terrible dishonest colleagues, all professed Christians, who unhesitatingly first knowingly falsely accused me, then threw me under the bus, and never again reached out or said or wrote a word to me (with only a few exceptions).

They must be experts in betrayal, since Jesus himself was betrayed by his own disciples.

It really pains me we won't be able to see the many good friends we have made in over six years living among the good people of Papua New Guinea. I can only come back to the country, if all charges are dropped and all costs and damages that my family and I suffered are reimbursed.

Meanwhile, we live modestly at home in Verona with my mother who is 88 years old and almost died of worry last year. In 2015, we invited one of the Unitech students who studied in Europe to visit our place and he liked its peacefulness.

My wife has a job in one of the leading high schools teaching English, and I have a modest job as a professor with an American university on a US army basis in northern Italy where I teach management and history courses.

My credentials and work experience were rigorously checked before I was appointed, and I had to undergo extensive training to learn their systems and teaching methods. In fact, World Education Services has now legalised my doctorate for the United States and can send any university a copy. You don't get such a job if you are a fraud, trust me.

In Italy, I was given this opportunity so soon after returning to teach at this world class institution, and to learn about online and hybrid course delivery.

Schram PNG_embassy_brusselsToday, we enjoy working with our friendly, competent and helpful colleagues, and my wife and I are both contributing to providing a true education of willing learners.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have served the PNG University of Technology well during the two and a half years the university council was not politicised and controlled by the government.

We escaped penniless from Papua New Guinea but we had our lives. It could have been so much better for the PNG University of Technology.

Comments

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Albert Schram

In six years my accusers failed to provide any primary and credible evidence that my doctorate was anything but genuine, and I had committed the crime of "false pretence".

The case was therefore dismissed out of hand, and there was no need for me to return to PNG and risk arrest. I should never have been accused, indicted or arrested.

This was a serious mistake on the part of police, or rather the cops-for-rent who acted as agents of my accusers.

In fact, I provided evidence of my doctorate many times to the Department of Higher Education and the University. anyone can inspect the official record https://cadmus.eui.eu/handle/1814/5972

As we can see from the press clipping, the police magistrate found it necessary to threaten me again with re-arrest on charges that are not specified.

This is an atrocious abuse of authority and spells ill for the rule of law in PNG. Having been left without a penny, I simply could not afford the trip and the possible hotel expenses in Port Moresby for an unspecified period.

The story is not over yet and I will do anything in my power to assure my accusers get what they deserve, and I get adequately compensated.

Philip Kai Morre

Professor Albert Schram was acrimoniously dumped but justice was on his side. If I am in authority I will not worry about what sort of qualifications he has but the quality of work he has done to set up standards at the University of Technology.

Lindsay F Bond

Mr Satori, please. Fingering in your words ain't what its about.
And what's dreadfully sad for potential scholars is sight of slight where careers warrant care.
PNGUT governance has not only its hills to conquer but a whole unsightliness from which to climb.

AG Satori

It was a defendable case but now you have absconded on bail.

The country feels the more poorer as it will miss your services and it will never see you again whilst your arrest warrant is kept in situ.

The country notes that you have moved on and congratulations.

What precedent does this serve for those seeking to travel and apply for a variation in bail in future? The courts here may find that a particular applicant will pull on a Schram and will definitely deny those genuinely seeking variations to their bail.

It now gives ammunition to the prosecution team to vigorously defend and try to seek from the courts not to grant variations that allow parties before the courts to leave its jurisdiction.

Off course the country still feels that it will be ridiculed from a safe distance. One can safely point their middle finger at the country's courts and pull scorn for having pulled a wool over the already blind lady justice.
__________

I think if Mr Satori found himself in a situation where he was arrested on trumped up charges which had more to do with political vengeance than the law, he would also take the opportunity of slipping away while on bail rather than risk gaol - KJ

Robin Lillicrapp

The disruption foisted upon PNG University of Technology may find its untimely end foretold in the turpid nature of education overall.

Without major intervention and remedial action applied to primary and secondary sectors, tomorrow's tertiary entry rankings will end up worse than ever.

The sad future for skilled workplaces will be a rejection by employers of local graduates, replacing them with foreign workers.

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