PM’s warrant judicial review books re-opened

The review books that were filed in the Prime Minister’s arrest warrant judicial review proceeding in the National Court will be re-opened and worked on over the next two weeks.

The Waigani National Court today allowed for the review books that were filed on April 1, 2016 to be re-opened and re-done.

A two week adjournment was sought by the Prime Minister and Police Commissioner’s lawyers to re-do the books which was granted by the court.

The plaintiffs, Commissioner Baki and PM O’Neill’s lawyers will now have two weeks to produce a draft revised review book. The matter will return to court on Oct 31.

This comes after the Supreme Court last week set aside the National Court’s decision on Dec 7, 2015 which allowed the joiner of the Director of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate, Matthew Damaru and his deputy Timothy Gitua in the case.

A Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Derek Hartshorn, Stephen Kassman, and Ambeng Kandakasi on Sept 29 in a unanimous decision found that the National Court judge fell into error when he allowed the joinder of the two on Dec 7, 2015.

Parties in the case now are Police Commissioner Gari Baki and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill who are listed as the plaintiff and Chief Magistrate Nerrie Eliakim and the state as respondents.

Damaru and Gitua were previously listed as the third respondents till the Supreme Court’s decision of Sept 29.

The issue is the judicial review proceeding is for the National Court to review the decision of Chief Magistrate Nerrie Eliakim to issue a warrant of arrest against the Prime Minister in June 2014.

The review was filed by Geoffrey Vaki in his capacity then as the Police Commissioner in 2014.

Grounds of the review are on questions of jurisdiction and errors of law in the issuing of the warrant.

(Above is the lawyer representing the Prime Minister who was in court today.  Loop PNG picture by Kennedy Bani.)

Sally Pokiton