Namah guilty for storming into court

A leadership tribunal has found Vanimo-Green MP, Belden Namah, guilty of misconduct in office when he stormed into the National and Supreme Court building in 2012 while the court was in session.

Justice Terrence Higgins and Senior Magistrates Patricia Tivese and Alex Kalandi reconvened today to give the verdict and penalties after the tribunal heard evidence in November last year.

They recommended to the Head of State that Namah be dismissed from office after finding him guilty of misconduct in office when he stormed into the court room, demanding the arrest of Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia.

The recorded session of the incident on 24 May 2012 was played by the Judiciary’s court reporting services during the tribunal hearing before members of the tribunal.

Namah, who was then Deputy Prime Minister, in the company of other MPs, entered court room 3 with members of police and defence force, demanding the arrest of Sir Salamo.

“Chief Justice, I want your immediate resignation now. Resign now Chief Justice, your immediate resignation,” Namah stated, as transcribed in the transcript in the court’s decision.

“You are not a credible person. You are bringing this country down. You have got to respect the people of Papua New Guinea. You are only one man.

“Arrest him, follow him. Arrest him, arrest him, arrest him. Enough is enough. Enough is enough. Take him straight to the chair. Paitim em (ie, seize him). Arrest him. He asked for it, he will get it,” continued Namah.

Sir Salamo exited the court room in the process, while three to four policemen rushed towards him, as directed by the leader.

His associate closed the door behind him however, he was punched and pushed back into the court room, bleeding on the left side of his face.

The Tribunal did not have the benefit of any evidence from the leader to explain his behaviour on 24 May 2012.

The Tribunal however, found Namah not guilty of misconduct in office when he allegedly interfered in the administration of the Vanimo-Green district.  

It was alleged on 14 August 2007, Namah demanded for the removal, suspension and discipline of Conrad Tilau, Vanimo-Green District Administrator, and directed that his staff, John Salle, be appointed as acting district administrator without lawful authority.

Namah pleaded guilty to seven allegations comprising his late, non-submission, false and incomplete annual statements to the Ombudsman Commission for the periods 6 August 2006 to December 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to failing to lodge financial returns to the office of Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission as winning candidate for the 2012 General Election.

A total of K4,250 fine had been recommended for the leader to pay for six of the seven counts he admitted to.

(Belden Namah, left, with his lawyers from Young and Williams)

Sally Pokiton