Frydenberg faces citizenship challenge

Josh Frydenberg being sworn in as Federal Treasurer last year.

TREASURER Josh Frydenberg has had a High Court case filed against him over claims he is a dual citizen by descent.

The challenge was lodged on Wednesday by Kooyong constituent Michael Staindl, who has called on Frydenberg to “show us he’s entitled to sit [in Parliament]”.

“He might well be, but he’d be stupid if he hasn’t renounced citizenship or can’t prove he [holds only Australian citizenship],” Staindl said.

Frydenberg’s mother, Erica Strausz, was born in Hungary in 1943. The Holocaust survivor listed her nationality as “stateless” upon arriving in Australia as a child.

The decision to refer Frydenberg to the High Court comes after a campaign earlier this month by Melbourne lawyer and ALP member Trevor Poulton, who said Frydenberg “is a Hungarian citizen and that is based on the fact that his mother was a Hungarian citizen”.

Poulton is the author of a fiction novel titled The Holocaust Denier, but insists the book does not represent his views.

Staindl told The Guardian newspaper, “This has nothing to do with denial of the Holocaust; it is simply a matter of whether he [Frydenberg] is an Australian citizen only.”

He added that if Frydenberg shows evidence he is not Hungarian he could drop the case “otherwise, yes, I’ll see it through”.