Namah will be arrested: police

ACTING Prime Minister Belden Namah and Attorney General Dr Allan Marat are yet to be arrested on contempt of court charges over their involvement in a National Executive Council decision to suspend Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia last week.
Namah will be arrested: police Namah will be arrested: police Namah will be arrested: police Namah will be arrested: police Namah will be arrested: police

Acting police commissioner Tom Kulunga confirmed to The National he had received the court order to arrest Namah and Marat and would "act on it".

The newspaper separately reported lawyers for Namah and Marat would today apply to a three-man Supreme Court bench to set aside the court order.

The NEC decision to suspend Injia became public on Thursday.

The stated reason was because of police claims the judge would face charges for mismanaging court finances and had previously breached a contempt order.

Critics of the NEC decision believe the move was politically motivated as the East Sepik provincial government's Supreme Court challenge over the legitimacy of the O'Neill government inches closer to an outcome.

A five-judge panel led by Injia was expected to rule on December 9, determining whether the early August parliament vote to end Sir Michael Somare's reign as prime minister was constitutional.

According to PNG Law Society president Kerenga Kua, the NEC move to suspend Injia would not impact the court case.

Kua told The National section 182(3) of the constitution allowed a chief justice to continue proceedings if he was suspended while they were underway, unless the Judicial and Legal Services Commission forbade it.

Meanwhile, the East Sepik provincial government reportedly applied to the Supreme Court on Friday to have the entire cabinet of the national government, including Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, charged with contempt.

According to the newspaper, the streets of Port Moresby were "unusually quiet" on Friday and Saturday nights as there were rumours of a "coup" as a result of the recent events.

  • NEW: Digital version of PNG Report magazine - View here
  • Porgera: Barrick-PNG talks go on - Read more
  • Follow the companies investing in the PNG market - Read more