Appeals on PM arrest warrant heard

The two appeals surrounding the arrest warrant of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill went for hearing today in the Supreme Court.

The warrant was issued by the District Court on 12 June, 2014.

Lawyers for the Prime Minister and Police Commissioner presented arguments in court before a bench comprising of Justices Joseph Yagi, Terrence Higgins and Harold Terrence Foulds.

The joint appeals filed by O'Neill and Police Commissioner Gari Baki, against the decision of the National Court, went before the Supreme Court for hearing.

The hearing follows the stay that was granted by the Supreme Court on August 10 restraining police from carrying out the arrest.

This appeal arises from the National Court decision of August 8, where the trial judge found that the arrest warrant could not be judicially reviewed, dismissing the case and the stay that was in place, preventing the arrest of the Prime Minister.

Queens Counsel Mal Varitimos, on behalf of the Prime Minister, told the court today that the trial judge was bound to follow the Supreme Court reference of Ano Pala, in which the full court on July 21 last year, found his arrest warrant was invalid, quashing the criminal charges he is facing at the District Court.

Varitimos also told the court that the warrant issued by the District Court for the PM’s arrest was obtained without any information laid.

The two appeals essentially seek orders of the court to quash the arrest warrant that was issued by the District Court.

The three-man bench reserved its ruling to a later date.

Sally Pokiton