PM’s lawyers appeal against joiner in High Court

Prime Minster Peter O’Neill’s lawyers moved a motion in the Supreme Court today seeking leave to appeal the National Court’s decision when it allowed Matthew Damaru and Timothy Gitua in the judicial review proceeding questioning the validity of O’Neill’s

The application was moved by Mal Varitimos in court today before Justice Sir Bernard Sakora, one day after a trial date was set at the National Court for the Judicial Review into the manner in which the warrant against the Prime Minister was obtained from the District Court in 2014.

The trial date at the National Court was set for March 3.

Director of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate Matthew Damaru and his deputy Director Timothy Gitua were allowed joiner in the proceeding by Justice Collin Makail on Dec 7,2015.

Justice Makail in his ruling last year said both police officers had sufficient interest in the proceeding (OS JR 485) and were already allowed joiner in other related proceeding before the other courts.

The Prime Minister’s lawyer said the application by the two  police officers seeking joiner were not proper as they were under the wrong National Court rules and procedures.

He said they were seeking joinder (then) under a wrong rule that does not allow them to do so.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki’s lawyer Ian Molloy consented to the application moved by the Prime Minister’s lawyer saying Damaru and Gitua’s allowed joiner in the proceeding contradicts the powers and functions of the Police Commissioner.

Damaru and Gitua’s lawyer Greg Egan responded saying his clients have sufficient interest in this proceeding including other proceedings relating to the warrant of arrest against the Prime Minister when they were allowed joiner.

The warrant of arrest against the Prime Minister was taken out by Gitua at the District Court.

Sir Bernard will hand down his ruling on that application on a later date.

Sally Pokiton