Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Court summons Namah and Marat


ACTING Prime Minister Belden Namah and Attorney-General Dr Allan Marat will today appear before a Supreme Court five-man bench hearing their application to set aside their contempt charges, The National reports.
“Where are they?” Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia had asked state lawyers John Griffin and Manuel Varitimos yesterday after noticing that Namah and Marat were not in court.
The five-man bench headed by Sir Salamo adjourned the application hearing to today, saying Namah and Marat should be present in court.
Acting Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga confirmed that Namah and Marat had “voluntarily surrendered” to police.
Their urgent application was to set aside contempt charges as ordered by Supreme Court judge Justice Bernard Sakora last Friday.
This was because the two had allegedly orchestrated the suspension of the chief justice while a court ruling on the East Sepik special Supreme Court reference was pending.
The five-man bench, headed by Sir Salamo, is to rule on Dec 9 on that reference.
Sakora ordered that Sir Salamo be reinstated as the chief justice after the National Executive Council suspended him last Thursday on allegations of misconduct.
Sir Salamo said the court order “speaks for itself”. The arrest of Namah and Marat were returnable to the court by Dec 12.
The ruling on the East Sepik provincial executive’s special Supreme Court reference, questioning the constitutionality of the O’Neill government, had been scheduled for Dec 9.
The hearing of the alleged contempt by Namah and Marat will follow three days later.
Yesterday, when the bench headed by Sir Salamo found that the two were not in court, Griffin and Varitimos were asked if they wanted to take their (Namah and Marat) places.
The lawyers declined to replace the contemnors.
A source in the East Sepik provincial executive said an application would be made in court this week to have the NEC members arrested for contempt as well.

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