Supreme Court

OC welcomes court ruling

Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick said the decision reiterates its position as an institution that will protect the constitution and promote good governance.

The reference was purposely to look at the constitutionality of the 2006 amendments to section 27(4) of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership, relating to changes in the rules of evidence in a leadership tribunal.  

Leader’s suspension effective on charge presentation

A five-man Supreme Court bench by majority clarified this through a special reference that was filed by the Ombudsman Commission.

The reference sought interpretation over the issue of leaders’ suspension from office once a leader’s conduct becomes subject to a Leadership Tribunal proceeding.

The commission sought clarification from the Supreme Court based from three conflicting Supreme Court decisions on the issue.

Refugees' claim against state stays

A three-man Supreme Court bench refused and dismissed an application by the state, which asked the court to dismiss the claim, alleging it was filed outside the required six month period.

On November 4, 2016, the 731 applicants gave the state notice of their intention to make a claim against it, pursuant to section 5 of the Claims By and Against the State Act 1996.

PM’s arrest warrant quashed

A three-man Supreme Court bench today unanimously found the warrant defective and the District Court's decision to issue it as well.

The court found that lack of care was applied by the District Court in issuing the warrant.

There was no information put on the form to get a warrant. The date on which the information was laid was blank. Even the word 'Independent' was spelt wrong on the form.

The court further found that the wrong form was used in applying for the warrant.

Supreme Court allows prisoner bail

Guli is serving two years jail term at Kundiawa after he was found guilty with two other of misappropriating K473, 575. They misappropriated the monies between July and September 2010.

He was convicted after trial on 11 August and sentenced to jail on 17 August 2017.

He filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, also seeking bail pending that appeal.

His lawyer, Philip Ame asked the Supreme Court for bail on grounds Guli has a high prospect of success in his appeal, and that he will unjustly continue serving time in jail.

3 Kerevat prisoners to be hung

The three were convicted and sentenced over the cold blooded murder of eight people on 26 September 2007, between the waters of Namatanai and Kokopo.

Three of the five-man Supreme Court bench dismissed the appeals against conviction and sentence that were filed by prisoners Botchia Hagena of Urkuk, Duke of York islands, Peter Taul and Tobung Paraide of Pilapila village, East New Britain Province.

They were sentenced to death by hanging on 14 July 2011 by the Kokopo National Court. They were convicted after trial.  

Kaupa goes to Supreme Court regarding petition

His lawyer, John Napu, will be seeking leave of the court today to review the decision of November 16, which allowed the petition to stay alive in the Court of Disputed Returns.

Kaupa filed a motion on Oct 18 seeking dismissal of the entire proceeding, claiming the petition was filed one day late.

The National Court ruled the petition was filed within the 40-day period after the declaration date and was on time.

The court said the public holiday on August 24 (National Repentance Day) does not affect the calculation as the petition was filed on the 40th day.

PM to fix books in contempt applications

The applications briefly came before the Supreme Court today and were adjourned to the end of the month.

The application seeking contempt charges were against Sir Mekere Morauta, Patrick Pruaitch, Kerenga Kua, Belden Namah and Bryan Kramer.

It was filed in the two joint appeals that is challenging the National Court’s decision of August 8, which found that the court cannot judicially review the arrest warrant that was issued against the Prime Minister in 2014.

The joint appeals have been heard with a decision pending from a three-man Supreme Court bench.

Namah leaves evidence against him unchallenged

The tribunal sitting resumed this morning for the leader to give evidence after an indication was given yesterday to members of the tribunal and the counsel assisting tribunal that he will give evidence as a witness today.

However this morning, his lawyer Greg Sheppard told the tribunal he received instructions last night that his client will not give evidence.  

Legitimate LOs get title after 13 years

This comes after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by Barava Limited, challenging the decision of the National Court dated 7 October 2016.

That decision of the National Court nullified the Special Agricultural Business Lease given to Barava Ltd, on portion 101, 102 and 307, on Milinch, Kokopo, East New Britain Province.

The National Court ordered the Department of Lands and Physical Planning, through the registrar of titles and the Minister for Lands, to issue the lease to Gire Gire Estates Limited.