Gamato defamation case dismissed

Lack of compliance by Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato’s lawyer to directions issued by the National Court in the case against blogger Martyn Namarong has seen it dismissed.

Justice Ere Kariko summarily dismissed the defamation proceeding today.

He raised concerns on the growing number of cases in court where lawyers do not comply with directions issued by the court.

In this case filed by Gamato in July last year, Judge Kariko said there are straight forward facts on defamatory claims against the blogger.

Gamato alleged the blogger published defamatory remarks, associating his surname with a fruit.

One year on, since directions were issued on 12 July 2017, Gamato, through his lawyer, did not produce affidavits to support his case.

Commissioner Gamato on July 12, 2017, obtained restraining orders from the Waigani National Court to stop Namarong, his servants and agents from further publishing defamatory remarks on Facebook and Twitter, against him.

The court found his lack of compliance to directions showed his “lack of genuine interest” in pursuing the case.

The matter returned for directions this morning however, the court found earlier directions were not complied with by Gamato and his lawyer.

With no formal application or affidavit filed to explain the non-compliance, Justice Kariko exercised his discretion to dismiss the case.

(Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato)

Sally Pokiton