PM’s contempt motion against Koim dismissed

​The National Court has dismissed a notice of motion that was filed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last November seeking to have the court refer Sam Koim for Contempt of Court.

Justice Collin Makail in his ruling this morning found the application was incompetent and upheld Sam Koim’s objection to the motion to dismiss it.

The motion was moved on Nov 19, 2015 by the Prime Minister‘s lawyer, Mal Varitimos. The motion alleged that Koim breached an order of the National Court from July 2014.  

That order was issued restraining him from discussing matters relating to the proceeding in the public including the media (whether print, electronic, social or otherwise).

This is proceeding (OS JR 444 of 2014) which is the review proceeding of the NEC’s decision to disband the Task Force Sweep in 2014.

The contempt motion filed by  O’Neill’s lawyers 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 The National newspaper on November 18, 2015.

The Prime Minister filed the motion asking the court to direct the Registrar to commence contempt proceedings against Koim.

The motion was also seeking orders to have the court refer Koim to the Lawyers Statutory Committee for disciplinary actions.

Both orders sought in the motion were refused by the Court as it was found to have no basis.

The court also dismissed separate summons filed to have the Chief Editor of The National newspaper Pama Anio and Lawyer William Frizzel of Warner Shand Lawyers produce documents before the court.

The summons was to have them produce documents related to the full page advertisement outlining the progressive update of cases the Task Force Sweep team that was published on page 34 of The National newspaper on Nov 18,2015.

Both summonses have been dismissed and Pama Anio and William Frizzel are discharged from any further obligations to the court.

Sally Pokiton