Leadership Tribunal

Court Year in review- Leadership Tribunals

Vanimo-Green MP, Belden Namah was the only elected leader who went before an appointed tribunal, chaired by Justice Goodwin Poole (now retired), Senior Magistrate Mark Selefkariu and Ernest Wilmot.

This matter has since been stayed after he succeeded in convincing the National Court to permanently restrain appointed members of the Tribunal from further reconvening.

Namah first appeared before the Tribunal on Oct 23, 2015 to answer to 10 allegations of misconduct in office.

Kondra asks Higher Court to stay dismissal

Kondra’s lawyers filed an application seeking to stay the National Court’s decision of March 1 which dismissed his judicial review.

The matter came before the Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia today where a hearing date was set.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench will hear the application on June 15.

On March 1, the National Court upheld the decision of the Leadership tribunal recommending Kondra to be dismissed from office.

Justice Collin Makail dismissed Kondra’s judicial review and also ordered him to pay costs for the proceeding.

Ronny Knight's trial vacated

The matter will now return to court on February 29 for directions before an expected trial date is set  in March.

Knight returned to court today with his lawyers where it was brought before the attention of the court that the review books were missing affidavits and exhibits that were tendered in evidence during the leader’s Tribunal sitting last year.

Justice Collin Makail issued orders for the trial to be vacated from today while lawyers representing Knight and members of the tribunal work around sorting out the review books.

Knight trial expected in February

Knight’s lawyer returned to the National Court this morning before Justice Les Gavara Nanu informing the court of compliance on their part in filing and serving review books.

Noel Ako, of Jema lawyers is acting in behalf of the MP. He told the court they are ‘hopeful’ of having the substantive review  to commence on February 8, next year.

Knight was recommended for dismissal from office by the Leadership Tribunal on May 1st after he was found guilty of misappropriation charges on March 20, 2015 on four of the five allegations brought against him.

Leave to stay Namah tribunal refused

It ruled this morning to allow the tribunal to continue its sitting which will resume next week Monday (Nov 23).

Justice David Cannings however accepted Namah’s application to add the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia as one of the respondents in the proceeding at the National Court.

He ordered that Namah’s amended originating summons filed on November 12 be further amended to include Sir Salamo as the fourth defendant.

Members of the tribunal, Justice Goodwin Poole and senior magistrates Mark Selefkaru and Ernest Wilmont are the first respondents.

Namah seeks stay of tribunal again

His lawyers filed the notice of motion of November 12 seeking to stay the tribunal reconvening on November 23.

He also seeks to add the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia as the fourth respondent in the proceeding at the National Court.

His lawyer, Greg Sheppard, moved the motion before Justice David Cannings today, saying the leader will be prejudiced as the reference will be presented to the members of the tribunal when they reconvene.

Sheppard said human rights applies to everyone and ought to be applied equally regardless of their status.

Namah moves to declare tribunal appointment ‘invalid’

The application today comes after the National Court on October 29 temporarily stayed the Leadership tribunal reconvening until November 6.

Namah’s lawyer Greg Sheppard moved the motion this morning saying the appointment of the tribunal by the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia was unconstitutional and invalid as the Chief Justice was involved in one of the allegations in Namah’s referral.

He said being involved in one of the allegations, the Chief Justice ought not to have appointed the tribuna,l saying the appointment was invalid.

Namah appears before Tribunal

 Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin who is assisting the tribunal in its investigation revealed a number of allegations among the 15 allegations Namah was referred over will be withdrawn.

The sitting progressed with only directions this morning and has since been adjourned to Monday (Oct 26) after lunch.

Kaluwin told the tribunal that among the allegations that will be withdrawn against Namah includes the allegation in relation to the seed money for Sandaun Free trade and purchase of properties in Samoa.

Polye shows support for Namah

Polye attended Namah’s first tribunal hearing where he appeared with his lawyer Greg Sheppard before members of the Leadership Tribunal.

The brief tribunal sitting later saw both leaders walked out the Court precinct after it was adjourned to next week Monday.

A proper tribunal hearing is expected to commence on Monday with the presentation of the reference by the Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin to Namah.

Namah fails review of Tribunal appointment

Namah filed an application early this week seeking  a review of the appointment of a Leadership Tribunal that was done by the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia on October 9.

He was also seeking to review the decisions of the Ombudsman Commission on April 13 this year to refer him to the Public Prosecutor and the decision of the Public Prosecutor on August 13 asking  the Chief Justice to appoint a leadership tribunal.

Namah is due in court tomorrow (October 23) for his Leadership Tribunal hearing. He is facing 15 allegations of misconduct in office.