PM’s lawyer seek stay of trial

Lawyers representing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday moved another application before the Supreme Court seeking to temporary stay the judicial review into the validity of his warrant of arrest.

His lawyer Mal Varitimos moved the motion filed on Jan 21 this year to temporary stop the trial which is set to take place on March 3 at the National Court.

The appeal was filed on grounds the third respondents; Director of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate Matthew Damaru and his deputy Director Timothy Gitua are improper parties in the proceeding.

Here they are seeking temporary stay of the trial to query the National Court’s decision on Dec 7, 2015 when Justice Collin Makail allowed the joinder of Damaru and Gitua in the proceeding.

Varitimos said it was in the interest of justice to determine the issue of proper parties in the proceeding before rushing the trial that was set on Tuesday this week for March 3.

The Prime Minister’s lawyer said it’s a case of parties extending the length of the proceeding by joining it when they had no direct interest in the case.  

Police Commissioner’s lawyer Ian Molloy said the trial at the National Court should not proceed to the substantive review and it is in the overall interest of Justice for the trial to be temporarily stayed.

Damaru and Gitua’s lawyer Greg Egan submitted the Prime Minister’s application should be dismissed on no grounds.

Justice Sir Bernard Sakora will make his ruling at a later date.

Sally Pokiton