Supreme Court

Court extends return of writs

The Ombudsman Commission filed a special reference in the Supreme Court and successfully obtained the orders on Friday at 4:30pm.

The court allowed for the extension of the return of writs from July 28 to July 31.

Ombudsman Commission was ordered to serve the court orders on the Electoral Commission by Friday 10pm.

The Clerk of Parliament and Secretary for Justice will also have to be served the orders by 2pm of Saturday, July 29.

The writs were returned to the head of state on Friday at 4pm, however only 80 of the 111 electorates’ writs were given. 

Polye refused interim orders

The court today heard an application by lawyer representing incumbent Kandep MP, Don Polye, asking the Supreme Court to admit two ballot boxes and refuse nine from being counted. 

The two ballot boxes are from the Kanian and Kinduli polling areas and were set aside from counting by the returning officer, without any objection raised, the court was told.

Appeal over Hagen RO appointment dismissed

This appeal was filed by James Yoka Ekip and Simon Sanagke.

According to Electoral Commission list of candidates, Ekip and Sanagke are two candidates vying for the Hagen Open seat this election.

The appeal is challenging the National Court’s decision in refusing leave to judicially review the decision of Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, in appointing Paul Goema and Andrew Kerowa, as the returning officer and assistant returning officer respectively.

High court allows candidate to contest

Bari Palma is a candidate vying the Kerowagi Open Seat this election. He was declared insolvent, or bankrupt, by the Waigani National Court on June 1.

Justice Derek Hartshorn declared him bankrupt after he failed to pay over K275,000 in legal cost from an Election Petition he had filed in 2013. This case is the first of such in the country.

On Nov 13, 2013, the National Court dismissed Palma’s election petition, ordering him to pay K275,119.06.

Aggrieved with the amount, he filed a judicial review in the National Court in February last year.

Potape’s application adjourned

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia adjourned the case yesterday to give time to lawyers to obtain specific instructions from their clients in the case.

The adjournment was granted after lawyer for Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP, Philip Undialu, told the court he was yet to get instructions from his client, who was on a campaign trail in Hela.

Both Potape and Undialu are contesting the Hela Regional Seat in the 2017 National General election.

Parker’s motion for extension dismissed

Parker was seeking extension of time to file an appeal against his conviction of manslaughter.

Lawyers representing Parker and the public prosecutor appeared before the Supreme Court this morning.

The state did not oppose the application but told the court it was filed prematurely, as they still had 24 days to comply with the 40 days appeal time frame.

Parker’s lawyers intend to file an appeal against his conviction on May 29 but are still awaiting the written judgment and were seeking an extension of time to be allowed by the Supreme Court to file that appeal.

​Issue of Hagen RO remains in Supreme Court

The appeal will return for directions in the Supreme Court before appeal books can be filed next week in preparation for hearing of the substantive appeal.    

Lawyer representing James Yoka Ekip and Simon Sanagke clarified that the appeal is still on foot, or ongoing, after the Supreme Court on Saturday refused an interim application they filed, asking the court to stay an earlier decision of the National Court dated 4 May.

Option of Election petition remains

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia refused an application filed by James Yoka Ekip and Simon Sanagke over the Electoral Commission’s decision in appointing Paul Goema and Andrew Kerowa as the Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer for the Hagen Open seat respectively.

They asked the court on Thursday through their lawyer to stay the decision of the National Court, when it refused to allow a Judicial review to be done into the appointment of Goema and Kerowa by Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

Issue of Hagen RO goes to high court

While this matter was filed on May 24 waiting to go before court, other candidates and their supporters took issues into their own hands on Wednesday and disrupted flights into the Kagamuga airport by sitting and protesting on the tarmac.

Air Niugini this morning resumed flights into Mt Hagen after Police managed to get the supporters out.

James Yoka Ekip and Simon Sanagke filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, and today asked the court through their lawyer to stay the decision of the National Court, dated 4 May, which refused an application they had earlier filed.    

Gamato: It’s before the Courts

“Their matter is in the Supreme Court and is expected back in court on Thursday,” Gamato told Loop PNG, referring to the action by candidates and supporters disrupting flights into the Western Highlands capital this afternoon.     

“These are the same people who filed the case against me and are now taking the law into their own hands to close the Kagamuga Airport.”

A passenger who travelled from neighbouring Southern Highlands Province, Brian Waffi confirmed with Loop PNG that the candidates and their supporters were sitting on the tarmac and protesting.