​Twivey thanks legal team

It has been a tough year for prominent female lawyer Tiffany Twivey, who appreciates her lawyers and the office of the public prosecution for acting appropriately.

She made these statements after her case at the Waigani National Court got discharged on Monday.

A week-long trial against Twivey was to commence on Monday, however that did not eventuate after the office of the public prosecutor filed a document called a nolle prosequi, withdrawing the information and charge against her.

She was arrested and charged for perverting the course of justice on April 11, 2016.

It was alleged that Twivey, as principal of her law firm, while acting on behalf of her client, Dairi Vele, between July 28 and 30 of 2015, substituted Chief Inspector Timothy Gitua’s name without his knowledge and the leave of court with that of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary as the informant in the information charge against Vele.

She allegedly did so in an application at the District Court to set aside an arrest warrant against Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele.

“It was meant to be the start of my trial today (Monday) and the office of the public prosecutor filed a document called a nolle prosequi which means they are not going to prosecute, which has the practical effect that the charge is dismissed.

“The judge then advised that I was free to go and that I was free to go and bail monies refunded,” Twivey said in her statement.

She said it has been the hardest year of her life since the arrest where her professional life and reputation were in jeopardy as a result of the arrest.

“I have suffered much professional damage as well as personal distress and anxiety, particularly over the effect of this on my family and employees.

“I am greatly relieved and thank sincerely my lawyers Greg Sheppard and Philip Tabuchi, the office of the public prosecution for acting appropriately and properly, and also my family, friends, colleagues and remaining clients, particularly the Prime Minister and the secretary for Treasury, for their collective support during this difficult time,” she said.

She said a Supreme Court precedent has been set that the correct party in an application to set aside an arrest warrant brought by a defendant was the police force/ police commissioner and not the arresting officer.

“My conduct in naming the RPNGC in the application to set aside the arrest warrant as the party instead of the arresting officer was not only correct but proper.

“What is particularly frustrating however, is that the fraud squad officers who arrested me and who directed the arrest, including Timothy Gitua and Matthew Damaru, have been aware of this legal position, as they were indeed parties to such Supreme Court decision,” Twivey said.

Sally Pokiton