PNG Court Dismisses Stay Order Preventing Service Of Arrest Warrant On PM

O'Neill plans to appeal decision which paves the way for his arrest in Paraka corruption case

By Nellie Setepano

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 9, 2017) – The National Court has dismissed stay orders preventing the arrest of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

This means police can now execute the arrest on the Prime Minister.

[PIR editor's note: On Aug. 10, 2017 PNG Post-Courier reported that 'Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has announced that he will be appealing the National Court decision. ... Mr O’Neill said in a statement that he respects that the National Court has made a decision on outstanding legal matters relating to the Paraka legal fees matter, and he would exercise his legal right to appeal the decision.']

This came about after a judicial review in relation to the June 2014 warrant of arrest of the Prime Minister that was dismissed by Justice Collin Makail in the Waigani National Court yesterday.

The former Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki had challenged the legality of the warrant of arrest that was issued by the District Court by Chief Magistrate Nerrie Eliakim on 12 June 2014.

Despite the judgment made on the dismissal yesterday morning, a second attempt by the Prime Minister’s lawyer in the afternoon to delay the court orders for 14 days was made but failed.

Justice Makail said it was an abuse of court process. Justice Makail said it was another attempt by the defendant to delay the court process. Justice Makail said the defendant has the re-course in the Supreme Court.

Outside the court, Director for National and Anti-Corruption Director Mathew Damaru said it was now up to the police to issue a warrant of arrest.

Damaru said that the onus was on the Police Commissioner to act on the warrant and that it was out of respect of the office to leave it to Commissioner Gari Baki to act on the warrant.

On 12 June 2014, a warrant of arrest was issued by Chief Magistrate Nerrie Eliakim on the application of officers of the National Fraud Squad and Anti-Corruption Directorate. This was in relation to allegations of official corruption made against the Prime Minister in relation to monetary benefits for Paul Paraka lawyers.

PNG Post-Courier
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