Court set hearing date of PM’s appeal

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill challenging the joinder of the heads of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate in a National Court proceeding.

The date for the hearing has been set for June 3. The hearing date was set this morning by Justice Terrence Higgins.

Parties present in court today were the PM’s lawyer from Twivey Lawyers Desmond Kipa and Damaru and Gitua’s lawyer McRonald Nale.

Parties were ordered this morning to file all extracts of arguments seven days before the hearing date of June 3.

This hearing will proceed after Justice Sir Bernard Sakora, sitting as a single Supreme Court on Feb 23, allowed leave for the Prime Minister to move the appeal.

O’Neill is challenging the National Court’s decision from the case (OS JR 485) or judicial review the Police Commissioner (then Geoffery Vaki) filed into the manner in which the Prime Minister's arrest warrant was obtained from the District Court in 2014.

The warrant of arrest against the Prime Minister was taken out by Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate’s deputy director Timothy Gitua at the District Court.

Gitua and his director Matthew Damaru were allowed joinder in the National Court proceeding by Justice Collin Makail on Dec 7, 2015.

Now the Prime Minister is appealing that joinder in the higher court. He is appealing the joinder on the ground that the Police Commissioner was already a party in that judicial review and it was not proper for the court to allow Damaru and Gitua joinder also.

Justice Makail in his ruling last year (Dec 7, 2015) said both cops had sufficient interest in the proceeding (OS JR 485) and were already allowed joinder in other related proceeding before the other courts.  

Sally Pokiton