Baki’s review case further adjourned

A judicial review case filed by Police Commissioner Gari Baki against the Task Force Sweep Team has been further adjourned.

The judge presiding over the matter Justice Leka Nablu adjourned the case because she wanted the state to be ready to address the court.

Commissioner Baki filed the case asking the National Court to review the two NEC decisions that led to the establishment of the Task Force Sweep team.

The matter returned to court on Thursday.

This time, Sam Koim as Chairman of the Investigation Task Force Sweep team (now abolished) and the state were present in court.

The state, however, did not have any instructions over the case, despite in-house lawyer from the Constabulary, Stanley Poga telling the court that the amended originating summons was served on the state on May 19.

Justice Nablu saw no urgency in the matter proceeding to a hearing on Thursday because she wanted the state to be properly represented as the decisions Baki is asking the court to review were made by the NEC.

She was also reluctant to hear Baki's lawyer move the application for leave yesterday seeking judicial review because she wanted to give the state an opportunity to respond.

The court issues an order for the Solicitor General or a delegate to attend the next return date of the matter where Baki's lawyer will move his leave application.

The case was adjourned to June 6.

In this proceeding, Commissioner Baki seeks leave of court to review the decision of the NEC, dated Aug 11, 2011, to establish and appoint the Task Force Sweep team to carry out criminal investigations, lay charges and prosecute offences independently without being accountable to the office of the Police Commissioner.

He is also seeking leave for the court to review NEC Decision dated 13 July 2013, to permanently establish the office of the Investigation Task Force Sweep team, to carry out criminal investigations, lay charges and prosecute offenses independently without being accountable to the office of the Police Commissioner.

Substantively, he is asking the court to declare that the NEC decision dated 13 July 2013, is unconstitutional and invalid and of no effect, and in breach of section 197, 198 and 199 of the constitution.

The Commissioner is also asking the court to quash the two NEC decisions that led to the establishment of the Investigation Task Force Sweep team.

His lawyer ​filed the case against Sam Koim as chairman of Investigation Task Force Sweep team, Chief Inspector Timothy Gitua, Sergeant Aaron Eliza, Sergeant Pius Peng, Senior Constable Basi Sopata comprising the Investigation Task Force Sweep team, the NEC and the State.

Koim, as chairman of the now abolished Investigation Task Force Sweep team, withdrew the Supreme Court appeal on 26 April, after three years of court battle mainly due to funding constrains in maintaining the office.

The appeal was against the National Court decision on 2 December 2016.

The National Court then dismissed the judicial review filed by Koim because the NEC decision to disband the ITFS team was an administrative policy decision that cannot be reviewed by the court.

Author: 
Sally Pokiton