Monday, December 05, 2011

Basil spotlights Sir Arnold’s legal inconsistencies

National Planning and Monitoring Minister Sam Basil has called on former Chief Justice and Governor of Madang Sir Arnold Amet to stop “preying” on judges’ ‘emotions and opinions’. 
Basil said that Sir Arnold should realise that he was no longer on the bench as the chief  justice but a politician and a member of the opposition.  
“His continuous media circus is not only contemptuous but subjudicial to the pending Supreme Court decision on the validity of the events of August 2 in Parliament,” he said referring to Parliament’s declaration of vacancy and election of Ialibu MP Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister. 
“Let the judges do their job and stop preying on their emotions and opinions,“ an incensed Basil said. 
“The insinuations that he is portraying through the media pre-empts the outcome of the Supreme Court decision and such does not paint a good picture on the independence of the judiciary. 
"He talks as if the judiciary is in his steal pocket. 
"That is contemptuous and subjudice.” 
Basil, Bulolo MP, said that Sir Arnold seemed to enjoy conducting trial by media with full page advertorial in the newspapers, setting out his legal arguments as he did it over and over again.
 “It is surprising that he has all of a sudden become the self appointed guardian angel of the Constitution,” he said. 
“Some one should look back and see that not too long ago, the following happened:   
  • He allowed the nomination of Sir Paulus Matane as the Governor General at the eligibility vote stage, directly breaching the Constitution which was later nullified by the Supreme Court, and had a senior statesman in the likes of Sir Paulus walking off the public life disgracefully;
  •  He was part of the Somare-led Government’s unexplained adjournment of Parliament sittings, yet said nothing about the Constitutional requirements as affirmed by a majority Supreme Court ruling of which he was the sole dissenting one;
  •  He was a part of the Cabinet that delayed and frustrated the appointment of two medical doctors on the medical condition of Sir Michael Somare for more than three months. Effectively the country was without a permanent chief executive officer for more than three months but Sir Arnold would not arise to defend the spirit of the Constitution;
  •  He even attacked the judiciary just to protect the former kitchen cabinet ministers who were suspended by the Supreme Court pending their leadership tribunal. Now he is becoming the best buddy for the judiciary, making representations as if he had secured the Supreme Court decision in his favour;
  •  He was the controversial legal advisor to the previous government, protecting and advocating the cause of corrupt politicians within government, which was the cause of frustrations that led to the change of government. His controversial advice and the heavy reliance on it by the former Prime Minister and Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare cost the old man his political career, loss of the Prime Ministership and finally the dishonourable dismissal from Parliament.                                            Basil added: “May I remind him to check his hands whether it’s clean before crying foul at the current O’Neill/Namah Government that is trying to address the immediate needs of our people that had been neglected by the previous government.                                                                                         “We respect the judiciary to make its own decisions and we as Government will manage the consequences. The judges are Papua New Guineans and they live in Papua New Guinea. Please leave them alone to do their job.

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