Ball now in Commissioner Baki’s court, says Damaru

Director of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate Matthew Damaru said the ball is now in the Police Commissioner Gari Baki’s court to fast track fraud related cases in court.

Damaru said he accepts the decision of the Supreme Court today which found that the National Court erred in allowing their joinder in the judicial review proceeding.

Damaru said he and his deputy, Timothy Gitua have now been removed as parties in the judicial review challenging the issuing of the Prime Minister’s warrant of arrest by Chief Magistrate Eliakim on June 12,2014.

“We have been removed now so it’s up to the Police Commissioner now to pursue the case,” he said.

A three-man Supreme Court bench today allowed an appeal by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and set aside the joinder of Matthew Damaru and Timothy Gitua in the judicial review proceeding that was filed by Geoffrey Vaki in his capacity as the Police Commissioner (then) in 2014.

Justices Derek Hartshorn, Stephen Kassman, and Ambeng Kandakasi in a unanimous decision found that the National Court judge fell into error when he allowed the joinder of the two on Dec 7,2015.

Justice Hartshorn in delivering the decision today said if necessary Damaru and Gitua can be called to give evidence in court and it does not require them to be parties.

The ruling today also comes after the same court on Aug 25 upheld an objection by Vaki’s lawyers that the two were not proper parties before the court as they require approval by the Attorney General to engage private counsels to represent them.


(Loop picture of Matthew Damaru and Thomas Eluh outside the Waigani Court house.)



Sally Pokiton