Asi seeks restraining orders against NEC

Suspended PNG Defence Force Secretary, Vali Asi, has gone before the Waigani National Court seeking restraining orders against the National Executive Council and the state.

His lawyer this morning moved an application before Justice Leka Nablu, asking the court to stay his suspension pending the determination of his judicial review.

He also asked if the court restrain the NEC, Minister Puka Temu, the Department of Personnel Management and the state from taking any further disciplinary actions against him.

His lawyer told the court that suspension was the first step in any disciplinary process and they are seeking these injunctive orders to prevent any further prejudice to his client.

In the alternative, if stay against Asi’s suspension is not granted by the court, they asked if the restraining orders be granted and for the court to order that filing of review books be expedited for the substantive hearing to take place on his suspension.

Justice Nablu reserved her ruling on the application to next week.

Asi was suspended on Feb 9 by the National Executive Council pending the outcome of the Commission of Inquiry into the alleged fraudulent land acquisition of the Manumanu land in Central Province.

His lawyer filed the judicial review seeking leave of the court to review his suspension on the ground that he was not accorded the right to respond to the allegations prior to his suspension.

Trevor Meauri was appointed acting Secretary to oversee the department after the announcement of the Commission of Inquiry by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in February.

On June 15, leave was allowed by the National Court for his suspension, dated February 9, to be judicially reviewed.

They returned to court today (Wednesday) to move the notice of motion which was filed on May 23.

Sally Pokiton