Koim accused of contempt of court

The Prime Minister’s lawyers involved in the review proceeding of NEC’s decision to abolish the Task Force Sweep are accusing Sweep chairman Sam Koim of contempt and subjudice.

They filed a notice of motion before the National Court this morning to have Koim respond to the allegations on December 10.

Koim is alleged to have breached an order of the court from July 2014 when an order was issued restraining him from discussing matters relating to the proceeding (OS JR 444 of 2014) in the public including the media (whether print, electronic, social or otherwise).

This follows a full page paid advertisement by Koim on the progressive update of cases the Task Force sweep team had been working on.  It was published in yesterday’s National.

Counsel representing Koim, Greg Egan told the court the relevant orders of July 16, 2014 were not to restrain publication but to restrain ‘discussions’ in the public including the media. 

The Sweep matter returned for the trial today however Justice Collin Makail allowed an adjournment to December 10 to give Koim the opportunity to be heard regarding the allegations.

Justice Makail allowed the adjournment after he was satisfied that the allegations involved an administration of justice where disobedience was allegedly committed by a party in the proceeding before the court.

The Prime Minsiter’s lawyers filed a notice of motion this morning (Nov 19) after an affidavit of Tiffany Twivey was served to Koim’s lawyers yesterday.

They are seeking the Registrar apply or begin proceedings against Koim for punishment of contempt over allegations arising from the newspaper advertisement by Koim on Nov 18 (yesterday).

The notice of motion filed also seeks to have Koim referred by the court to the PNG Law Society or the Lawyers Statutory Committee for his conduct.

Sally Pokiton