Monday, December 12, 2011

Supreme Court decision is today

Source: Post Courier, December 12, 2011
THE Supreme Court will decide on the special Supreme Court Reference by the East Sepik Provincial Executive challenging the validity of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s election by Parliament today.
This is because of an application filed by the fifth intervener and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill which was moved last Friday by his new lawyer Philip Ame to have the President of the five men bench, Sir Salamo Injia disqualified.
The application with three supporting affidavits had alleged an apprehension of bias by the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, claiming that he was seen meeting with former State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare at a Port Moresby hotel last month when the reference hearing was in progress.
When the court resumed at 9.50 am last Friday, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia announced that there were two preliminary issues to be dealt with before the scheduled Special Supreme Court reference decision.
One was by the fifth intervener and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the other by the second intervener Speaker of Parliament Jeffery Nape.
Lawyer for the speaker told the court that he had received instructions to withdraw their client’s application while Philip Ame for Peter O’Neill was given 30 minutes to make his submissions on the disqualification application.
Upon making his submissions and answering questions from the five men bench the other interveners were given one minute to respond.
All interveners, including those that were against the referrer opposed the application, arguing that the timing and the application forms that were used were all wrong and that there was no credibility on the deponents of the supporting affidavits that were filed.
The five men bench, after hearing all submissions adjourned for 10 minutes to make a ruling but when they returned, the Chief Justice told the court that after considering the matter, they had decided that because of the seriousness of the matters raised they had decided to defer their decision to today Monday at 9.30 am

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