Lawyer representing O’Neill arrested, charged

Formal charges have been laid yesterday against a lawyer representing the Member for Ialibu-Pangia for allegedly attempting to pervert justice.

Acting Commissioner of Police, David Manning, said the principal lawyer of NiuAge Lawyers, along with a Waigani Court Registry Clerk, were both arrested and charged for the following offences:

  1. Attempting to pervert justice under Section 136 of the Criminal Code Act, Chapter 262;
  2. Forgery under Section 462 of the Criminal Code Act, Chapter 262; and
  3. Uttering under Section 463 of the Criminal Code Act, Chapter 263.

The Waigani Court Registry Clerk was formally charged on Monday, November 11th, while the lawyer was arrested and charged yesterday afternoon.

“Following the ruling of the National Court to dismiss Mr O’Neill’s judicial review application to challenge the District Court’s decision to grant Police a warrant of arrest against him, police carried out investigations into allegations Mr O’Neill relied on a fake warrant of arrest to obtain a stay against police effecting his arrest,” stated Manning.

“Relying on findings of those investigations, Police formed the view there was reasonable grounds to believe both accused did collude to forge court documents to mislead the Court to grant a stay order.”

Manning said based on these findings, police arrested and formally charged the duo, who were granted police bail and ordered to appear before the District Court.

The acting Police Commissioner further highlighted that he is aware of a press statement issued by O’Neill, claiming a criminal complaint has been lodged against Police Minister Bryan Kramer for forging and falsifying a defective arrest warrant against him.

While O’Neill said his complaint was lodged on November 12th, Manning countered by saying it was lodged today.

“I have also been informed that it was assessed as a counter-complaint intended to derail an ongoing investigation and his arrest after the fact and as such, the NCD Metropolitan Superintendent will be responding to him accordingly,” stated Manning.

“Furthermore, the allegations that police relied on a warrant of arrest forged by Minister of Police is false and highly derogatory. Under my tenure as acting Commissioner of Police, investigations have been conducted professionally and diligently without fear or favour.

“Any formal complaint filed with police will be considered based on sufficient evidence and not false and misleading statements issued in a press statement.”

Carmella Gware