Supreme Court dismisses Kobol’s leave application

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato is calling on the people of Southern Highlands province to respect the decision of the Supreme Court that was handed down on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court refused and dismissed an application by Joseph Kobol, seeking leave or asking the court to review the dismissal of his petition in the National Court on June 14 after it was found to be incompetent.

This was the petition that sparked the mayhem in Mendi, which saw the burning of a Link PNG aircraft, the court house and Governor Powi’s residence among others.

Justice Derek Hartshorn, sitting as a single Supreme Court judge on July 9, heard arguments in the leave application that was moved by Kobol’s lawyer Philip Waranaki.

Nine grounds were put forward in the application.

The application was objected by lawyers for the Electoral Commission and Govenor William Powi.

On Tuesday, Justice Hartshorn handed down his ruling, refusing to grant leave and dismissed the application.

He upheld the ruling handed down in the National Court by trial judge and Deputy Chief Justice, Sir Gibbs Salika.

Justice Hartshorn was not satisfied that Kobol demonstrated a serious issue on the point of law or fact to be determined to show that if leave was granted, the Supreme Court review would succeed.

Kobol’s petition in the National Court, asked the court to nullify Powi’s election, and order for the completion of elimination so that the candidate who reaches absolute majority can be declared.

The petition was dismissed before trial because the court found the reliefs he was asking for, were not relied on under the correct provision of the Organic Law of the National and Local Level Government Election.

Sally Pokiton