Supreme Court stays Knight’s dismissal

Suspended Manus MP Ronny Knight will nominate tomorrow to join the race to retain his seat in the 2017 National Elections after the Supreme Court stayed his dismissal from office today.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia this afternoon stayed the decision of the Leadership Tribunal on May 1, 2015 that recommended his dismissal from office, following the tribunal’s finding of guilt on him on March 20, 2015.

He ordered that the state and Electoral Commission including its officers or agents, permit Ronny Knight to nominate to contest the elections.

In light of this decision, Loop PNG was informed by Knight that he will be nominating tomorrow.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato also confirmed with this newsroom that Knight can nominate to contest.

The high court in its decision today was of the view that serious issues were raised in the allegations that were brought before the Leadership Tribunal.

Sir Salamo said the allegations contained defects, were duplicitous and “badly drafted by the Public Prosecutor”.

“In my view, there are signals that the proceedings of the Leadership Tribunal and National Court were not properly conducted.

“For the interest of Justice, decision of the Leadership Tribunal and National Court will be subject to scrutiny of the court,” he said.

The Chief Justice was also of the view that the idea to purchase the vessel is a good one and that the Manus JDP&BPC is a collective body that collectively made the decision to purchase the vessel which was the subject of the allegations in the tribunal.

He said Knight as a political figure did not directly benefit from the decision of collective body and the assessment of the condition of the vessel, in terms of its seaworthiness, are all technical matters.

Those technical matters were beyond the knowledge of Knight and he should have been assisted by technical staff of the Manus Provincial Government.

Sir Salamo also said that members of the JDP&BPC knew very well they were making a decision to purchase a second hand vessel.

The substantive appeal will be heard at a later date.

Loop PNG file picture of Ronny Knight. 

Sally Pokiton