Supreme Court

Refugees’ class action dismissed

Ben Lomai, who acts for the 730 applicants, said his clients now have two options, either to file a case in the National Court seeking damages or file a slip rule application.

They believe the Supreme Court made an error.

The group of refugees and asylum seekers, led by Behrouz Boochani on 7 November, 2016, filed an application for the enforcement of their constitutional rights (section 57 of the Constitution) and unlawful transfer and detention in Manus, after the Supreme Court ruled on 26 April, 2016, that their detention since 2013 was unlawful.

Death sentence reduced for hired killer

A five man Supreme Court bench quashed the death sentence against Lota today and substituted it with life in prison.

The court found the trial judges’ sentence was excessive.

Sedoki Lota of Salakahadi village Ferguson island, was 22 years old when he was sentenced to death by hanging on October 1 2007, by the Alotau National Court.

He pleaded guilty to killing a Marcia Kedarossi of Nade village; a woman he had suspected of killing 19 people through sorcery.

Lota was hired for K1,500, two bagis, a traditional arm band and shell money.

Supreme Court dismisses Kobol’s leave application

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.

Application for Namah’s arrest before court

The application was filed on 16 March by Twivey lawyers, who represent Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

It stems from the contempt motions the PM filed against five members of the Opposition; Kerenga Kua, Patrick Pruaitch, Sir Mekere Morauta, Bryan Kramer and Belden Namah.

Namah is said to have been evading personal serve of the contempt motion that the Prime Minister filed against him.

It is a requirement to effect personal service on alleged contemnors. Substitute service in the daily newspapers is also available in events personal service cannot be effected.  

Reference on death penalty filed

Following the passage of the death penalty by parliament in 2013, the criminal justice system has imposed the penalty on serious criminal offences.

However, the sentence imposed by the courts in various serious criminal cases have not been carried out because of the procedures involved in executing the death penalty.

Tentative dates for MPs’ contempt case

The trial will see Bryan Kramer, Sir Mekere Morauta, Patrick Pruaitch and Kerenga Kua answer to allegations of contempt that are being raised by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill regarding issues that were before the courts.

Twivey Lawyers today informed the Supreme Court there are seven distinct allegations leveled against each MP.

Only Vanimo-Green MP, Belden Namah, is yet to be served the contempt motion.

Man mentally unstable after consuming ‘ginger’

This follows his successful appeal against that sentence term.

A three-judge Supreme Court quashed the life sentence because they were of the view the trial judge made some errors.

It found that the National Court did not give enough regard to mitigating factors such as his early plea, absences of planning and Tauba Laiam’s contention that his mind was affected after his father-in-law gave him ‘ginger’.

The Supreme Court today ordered a fresh warrant of commitment to reflect the 30-year sentence.

Potape’s leave application successful

The Supreme Court this afternoon granted him leave to proceed with the review of the National Court decision that dismissed his election petition.

The petition was dismissed on grounds of competency.

He was challenging Philip Undialu’s win as the Hela Governor.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia granted the leave on grounds that there are very serious allegations in the case that only a proper trial will need to address.

(Loop file pic)

EC powers questioned

The reference looks at what kind of powers the Electoral Commissioner has.

Filed by the Ombudsman Commission in July last year, the Supreme Court wants the reference to be heard quickly and has issued directions to the commission to comply with before February 14.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia today endorsed draft index to the reference books and proposed answers to the reference questions that were drafted by the Ombudsman Commission. This including the statement of facts from the Commission.

About 15 questions were proposed to the Supreme Court to interpret.

Yangoru-Saussia: Waranaka’s application dismissed

A single-man Supreme Court bench dismissed the application by Waranaka, who sought leave to review an interlocutory decision and exercise of discretion of the National Court to allow the affidavits and competency applications of Maru and the Electoral Commission to go through.

The election petition before Justice Collin Makail is ready to go for trial in Wewak starting August 2018 and ending in September.

However, Waranaka filed an application to dismiss the affidavits and objections to competencies as being filed within time but served out of time.