Damaru asks court to review case dismissal

Director of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate Matthew Damaru today asked the Waigani National Court to review a decision of the District Court.

Damaru represented himself before Justice Leka Nablu where he asked the court to grant leave or allow a judicial review to take place.

The case was filed by Damaru and Inspector Joel Simatab, as police investigating officers challenging the Waigani Committal Court's decision on 7 June, 2016 to dismiss the case against Justice Sir Bernard Sakora, who was then facing allegations of judicial corruption.

Justice Nablu heard the motion and reserved her decision to June 1.

Before Damaru could make submissions on the leave application, Sir Bernard Sakora’s lawyer Loani Henao moved an application objecting to the competency of Damaru’s affidavit (statement) in court.

Henao said nine paragraphs of Damaru’s statement were based on opinions and not facts at hand.

Damaru responded saying those disputed paragraphs contained in the affidavit are facts and that the proceeding has attracted so much public interest and leave should be granted for a review to be conducted.

He also told the court that difficulty in engaging both private and state lawyers to represent them has caused the case to prolong in court and not go past the leave stage since the case was filed on June 30, 2016.

He said they were simply performing their constitutional duties and the state and Police Commissioner have taken opposing side and despite that, they have standing and an interest in the case as investigating officers.

Henao submitted the issue of access to lawyers is an irrelevant excuse for delaying the proceeding which does not justify why a judicial office holder should keep waiting for them to be ready.

He said they acted outside the requirement of section 119 (5) of the Criminal Code act when they commenced the criminal proceeding in the Committal Court without a direction from the Public Prosector who has the prosecuting authority.

Henao maintained that Damaru does not have an arguable case and have not exhausted all available remedies.

The court reserved its ruling on leave to a later date.



Sally Pokiton