Pruaitch reference hearing vacated

A hearing of the Supreme Court reference seeking interpretation over the legality of James Marape’s election as Prime Minister on May 30 has been vacated.

The reference was fixed for hearing tomorrow, 20th September, however that will not take place now, with the matter adjourned to the registry.

Principal of Henao Lawyers, Loani Henao, appeared in court on instructions from Patrick Pruaitch this morning, replacing Young and Williams law firm which ceased to act for the former Opposition Leader.

The Supreme Court reference went to court for directions this morning where Henao made it known that he has been instructed by Pruaitch to file a notice to discontinue the proceeding, given the change in circumstances.

Pruaitch who filed a Supreme Court reference in court seeking interpretation over the legality of James Marape’s election as Prime Minister on May 30 has since moved to the government on September 10, leaving Belden Namah as the new Opposition Leader.

“He’s now instructed Loani Henao to act for him, with the instructions as indicated to the court by Mr Henao this morning, that he will be filing a notice of discontinuance, which means the proceeding has come to an end,” said Attorney General’s counsel, Nemo Yalo.

A formal application to discontinue the proceeding will be moved at a later date.

“But formal orders will be given but what the court has done is adjourn the matter to the registry and Loani Henao will file the notice of discontinuance (of case) and then he or the Attorney General, who I represent, will then write to the other parties to have the matter listed, then come before the judge to formally make that application to discontinue the proceedings.”

Parties who joined or intervened in the proceeding are the Attorney General and Speaker of Parliament.

On 5 September, Pruaitch as Opposition Leader was found to have standing or an interest in bringing the issue to court for interpretation, with the matter fixed for hearing on Sept 20.

However there is now an indication the reference will no longer be pursued.

McRoland Nale of Jema Lawyers also appeared in court this morning on instructions from Prime Minister James Marape.

Sally Pokiton