Thursday, July 07, 2011

MP asks tribunal for time to travel



THE Leadership Tribunal will decide today whether to allow suspended Angoram MP Arthur Somare the time he needs to obtain the information from his electorate required for the hearing, The National reports.

On Monday, Somare's lawyer Kerenga Kua said his client had a total of 105 allegations made against him.

He said the Ombudsman Commission had also claimed that Somare had facilitated 57 cheques to the recipients in Angoram.

He said the issuing and use of those cheques were matters to be raised at the tribunal.

But the time  they were  requesting was what they needed  to travel to East Sepik and talk to the  reci­pients.

Kua said that Angoram was a vast electorate with the recipients of the cheques scattered along the Sepik River and its numerous tributaries.

This is why they needed more time to travel there and obtain the needed information.

On Monday, the public prosecutor's office had submitted the necessary documents needed by the tribunal to start the hearing.

 Initially on Monday, both parties had asked the tribunal for a month's adjournment on the grounds that both parties needed time to file the necessary documents for thee hearing.

But on Monday afternoon, after a brief adjournment, the public pro­secutor's lawyer, Katua Umpake, told the tribunal that he had the ne­cessary documents to start the hearing.

The documents were the statement of reasons from the Ombudsman Commission and the statement of charges from the public prosecutor.

This triggered the Organic Law provision which required that So­mare be suspended immediately.

The three-man tribunal will comprise chairman Justice Salatiel Lenalia, and  magistrates Orim Karapo and Noreen Kanasa.

The ruling  today will determine if Somare will be allowed time to visit and talk to the recipients in his electorate.

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