Opposition MPs yet to get statements filed

Three of the five opposition MPs who are responding to allegations of being in contempt of court, by an application filed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, are yet to file their affidavits in the case.

Sir Mekere Morauta, Patrick Pruaitch and Kerenga Kua are yet to file their statements because they want their case given to an expatriate lawyer.

Their lawyer told the court today that they are awaiting the approval of the brief out by the Attorney General.

The Supreme Court today gave an extension of one week to the lawyer for the three MPs to file their affidavits.

Madang Open MP, Bryan Kramer, who is representing himself in court, was not present. Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah’s lawyer was also not in court.

In this contempt of court application, filed by the Prime Minister against the five, it essentially seeks the court to charge them of contempt of court for allegedly making statements in the media and on the social media site, Facebook.

The statements made were alleged to have discussed the issues that are before the Supreme Court in the appeal that is yet to be determined by the court.

The matter came for directions this morning before Justice Stephen Kassman and will return to court next month, where a hearing date can be set for the application.

Sally Pokiton