Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Namah, Marat out on OR bail

Source: The National, Tuesday 15th November 2011

ACTING Prime Minister Belden Namah and Attorney-General Dr Allan Marat were arrested and charged by police yesterday for contempt of court.
Both men presented themselves to Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga at the police headquarters at 10.30am.
They were accompanied by Internal Security Minister John Boito, National Planning Minister Sam Basil, Finance Minister Don Polye, Works Minister Francis Awesa, Health Minister Jamie Maxtone-Graham, NCD Governor Powes Parkop, Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP John Kekeno and Ijivitari MP David Arore.
Kulunga instructed the two to present themselves at the Boroko police station for an interview.
They then drove there under police escort where formal charges were laid against them by police at about 11.30am.
Namah and Marat later “walked” into the cell and stayed there for three minutes before being granted bail on their own recognisance (OR).
NCD metropolitan commander Supt Joseph Tondop said the leaders were granted OR bail because of their status.
At the police station, The National saw other cabinet members and Parkop following Namah and Marat into the cell to be locked up for three minutes before walking out again.
Kulunga refused to comment on the charges but said they were following the Supreme Court order issued last Thursday.
The order had instructed that “Namah and Marat be arrested and detained by police forthwith” for “contempt of the Supreme Court”.
The contempt allegation was based on an NEC decision (Gazette No.G316) last Thursday to suspend Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia on the grounds of double-dipping, gross mismanagement of court finances and contempt of court charges.
Kulunga said police acted on that order and laid charges.
He said as per the same order, Namah and Marat would appear in the Supreme Court on Dec 12 to answer to the charges.
Kulunga said he was satisfied that police had effected the arrest and charge within the seven-day deadline as directed by the courts.
He said the work of police was made easier when the two leaders voluntarily fronted up at the police headquarters.
Kulunga could not comment on the allegations raised against the chief justice

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