Court: Personally serve UPNG SRC lawyer the contempt motion

University of Papua New Guinea’s lawyer, Darryl Kamen, has been told by the Waigani National Court to personally serve a contempt motion it is seeking against the lawyer representing the Student Representative Council.

This should happen before the court can hear its motion.

The university filed a motion on July 11 seeking contempt charges against Laken Lepatu Aigilo, the lawyer representing Kenneth Rapa as SRC president and his other SRC members.

The matter came before Justice Hitelai Polume-Kiele today, who adjourned the hearing to Sept 13, after Aigilo told the court he was not personally served the motion.

The court said contempt charges sought must be served personally on the alleged contemnor before it can be heard.

The contempt motion alleges Aigilo breached National Court orders that were issued on June 8, when he advised the 5000-plus students to continue boycotting classes. This happened after the court had restrained the student body from carrying out activities that are contrary to their enrolment as students.

The motion also alleges Aigilo made statements to the effect that the orders of June 8 only applied to the SRC president and other members of the SRC.

On June 8, the university administration obtained orders from the Court  restraining members of the SRC, including Rapa and the student body, from further boycotting classes, putting up barricades to block classrooms and lecture theatres, threatening and assaulting enrolled students as well as university staff.

The interim injunction also restrained members of the SRC and students from carrying out activities which are contrary to their enrolment as students.

The restraining orders were granted to the university, hours after the student confrontation with police.

Sally Pokiton