Ronny Knight's trial vacated

The National Court has vacated Manus MP Ronny Knight’s trial of Judicial Review against the decision of the Leadership Tribunal’s recommendation of his dismissal from office.

The matter will now return to court on February 29 for directions before an expected trial date is set  in March.

Knight returned to court today with his lawyers where it was brought before the attention of the court that the review books were missing affidavits and exhibits that were tendered in evidence during the leader’s Tribunal sitting last year.

Justice Collin Makail issued orders for the trial to be vacated from today while lawyers representing Knight and members of the tribunal work around sorting out the review books.

Members of the tribunal led by Chairman, Justice Salatiel Lenalia and senior magistrates Ignatius Kurei and Rosie Johnston are respondents in the judicial review proceeding.

Knight was recommended for dismissal from office by the Leadership tribunal on May 1,2015 after he was found guilty to misappropriation charges on March 20, 2015.

He was found guilty on four of the five allegations brought against him.

All allegations are in relation to the misappropriating funds from the District Services Improvement Programs (DSIP) with the purchase of Manus district vessel MV Trader Star and the engagement of a consultation firm, Pokarop and Morton Company Limited in its purchase.

The vessel was purchased at a total cost of K2.5 million on an ‘as is where is’ basis and an additional K180, 670.30 was used to make alterations to the boat before it was shipped to Manus.

A stay order was later granted by Acting Judge Leka Nabu (then) on May 22 last year stopping Knight’s dismissal from office.

Sally Pokiton