Pala application refused

A five-man Supreme Court bench today refused an application filed by Attorney General Ano Pala asking the higher court to stay three proceedings in the lower courts.

The application sought by Pala was to stay two proceeding filed in the Supreme Court and one in the National Court.

Counsel representing Pala from Manase lawyers, David Levi, moved the application before Justices Derek Hartshorn, Don Sawong, Collin Makail, Terrence Higgins and Stephen Kassman.

The three cases that he asked the court to stay was SCA 87/2015, the appeal before the Supreme Court by Finance Minister James Marape that arose from the Paul Paraka bills and cost taxation case.

The other case is the Judicial review OS 485 of 2014 that was filed by former police commissioner Geoffrey Vaki in June 2014 for a judicial review to be conducted over the manner in which the warrant of arrest was obtained from the District Court against the Prime Minister.

The third case stay sought for was SCA 7of 2016. This case is an appeal that originates from OS JR 485 of 2014, the judicial review into the PM’s arrest warrant issue.

Pala’s lawyer was seeking to stay those proceedings until the full bench interprets the special reference on the functions and powers of the Police Force, and if officers have the same powers to that of the Commissioner in prosecuting cases.

Pala’s lawyer submitted that pending the determination of this reference, the proceedings in the court below ought to be stayed.

This application was agreed to by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

The five-man Supreme Court bench refused the stay application as submissions by Pala and the Prime Minister did not point out to the court what jurisdiction the Supreme Court full bench has in staying another Supreme Court proceeding.

The court ordered the Attorney General, Prime Minister and the Police Commissioner to pay the cost of the application moved today.

Sally Pokiton