UBS Reference hearing date set

A hearing date has been set for the Special Supreme Court reference in relation to the K3 billion UBS loan that was referred for interpretation early last year by Justice Catherine Davani.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia in a directions hearing on Friday fixed the hearing date for the reference on Tuesday, Dec 13 before a three-judge Supreme Court Bench.

Parties in the case; the Ombudsmen Commission, Former Chief Ombudsman Rigo Lua and former Acting Chief Ombudsman Phoebe Sangetari, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, and the Attorney General were ordered to file their arguments by the end of November.

The Ombudsman Commission was also ordered to file notices of the hearing to the Prime Minister’s lawyer and the Attorney General.

This is the special reference that was referred to the Supreme Court by Justice Catherine Davani on Jan 28, 2015 over certain constitutional questions surrounding the alleged improper borrowing of K3 billion loan from the Union Bank of Switzerland AG by the government.

A total of 11 questions were referred to the Supreme Court for interpretation.

On Jan 28,2015 National Court allowed Prime Minister O’Neill to obtain a reference under section 18(2) of the constitution for interpretation at the Supreme Court, while the National Court proceeding was stayed, pending the outcome of the Supreme Court reference.

The National Court last year also allowed Prime Minister O’Neill certain orders restraining the Ombudsman Commission from publishing a preliminary report of the alleged improper borrowing.


Sally Pokiton