Kulunga’s Slip rule application heard

An application filed by former Police Commissioner Toami Kulunga asking the Supreme Court to re-visit its earlier decision alleging a Slip occurred in his Supreme Court appeal was heard today.

The Slip Rule application was moved before Justice Panuel Mogish who sat as a single Supreme Court Judge. He reserved his decision on the application to later date.

Kulunga’s lawyer submitted to the court that the Supreme Court Appeal’s decision which was handed down on Dec 16, 2016 must be revisited because there were no other cases of such nature.

But the State’s lawyer told the court all other issues that the former Police Commissioner is raising now in the Slip Rule were already raised in the appeal.

Kulunga filed a Slip Rule application in December last year asking the court to reopen his case and correct an alleged error, or slip, it made.

It was filed after the Supreme Court full bench on Dec 16, 2016, dismissed his appeal against the decision of the National Court which found him guilty of contempt and sentenced him to seven months in prison.

On May 15, 2014, Kulunga was found guilty of contempt for failing to implement court orders of 1st October 2012, re-instating former top cop, Geoffrey Vaki, after the court ruled that the Constabulary erred in dismissing Vaki from the force.

On June 13, 2014, he was given a concurrent sentence of seven months for all three counts of contempt.

Kulunga filed the slip rule application on four grounds, alleging the court misapprehended facts and law and should quash his sentence term. The leave application is expected to go for hearing soon.

The application was filed after a three-man Supreme Court bench upheld the decision of the National Court and confirmed his conviction and imprisonment term.

Two of the three judges sitting in a Supreme Court bench on Dec 16, 2016, ruled in majority to dismiss his appeal, saying the trial judge did not make any error in convicting him for contempt of court and imposing a sentence of seven months in prison.

He is currently at Bomana awaiting the outcome of the Slip Rule application.

(Loop file picture of Kulunga and supporters outside the Waigani Courthouse on the evening of June 13, 2014, after he was granted bail by the Supreme Court at K10,000. Picture by Cedric Patjole.)


Sally Pokiton