BSP trial adjourned

The massive lawsuit filed by Yama Group of companies against Bank of South Pacific at the Waigani National Court has been adjourned.

The adjournment is to allow time for businessman and Madang Governor Peter Yama, to get proper legal advice and file his submissions on a counter-claim of K17 million by BSP against the Yama Group of Companies.

Yama filed the lawsuit in 2015, claiming the damage of K2.7 billion, after the Supreme Court on December 2014, ruled in favour of Smugglers Inn Ltd and the Yama Group of Companies, following a 13-year court battle with Bank South Pacific (formerly PNG Banking Corporation).

BSP in response, filed a counter-claim of K17 million in the same proceeding against Yama group of companies.

The court is now in the process in dealing with BSP’s counter claim before it can hear submissions on Yama’s massive K2.7 billion damage claim.

Yesterday BSP’s lawyers made submissions on their claim before adjourning to this morning to give Yama time to get instructions.

This morning, Yama asked the court for more time file his submissions. This was allowed and the case adjourned to November 13.

Meantime, Yama has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, seeking leave to appeal the decision of Judge Ere Kariko for having refused two of Yama’s application from being heard.

The first application that was refused in the National Court relates to the disqualification of Mal Varitimos QC representing BSP.

Yama was in the view of his previous engagement as Counsel assisting the Commission of Inquiry which inquired into the privatization and sale of PNGBC to BSP and that the Commission had made some adverse findings against Yama Group.

The second application which was refused, relates to Yama Group's application to struck out the BSP cross claim and enter summary judgment on liability against BSP. 

This application was also refused to be heard, because Judge Kariko was of the view that Yama’s lawyer then, did not give notice to hear the application.

The second application was to be moved in Court before the commencement of actual trial on Monday.

Based on the Judge refusal to hear both applications, Yama instructed Ben Lomai to file the Supreme Court application, seeking to overturn the decision of Judge Kariko.


Sally Pokiton