Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Hearings into PNG top judge adjourned


A committal hearing into corruption allegations against Papua New Guinea's top judge has been adjourned for two months to allow the prosecution time to gather evidence.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia was arrested on Tuesday amid police allegations he illegally redirected into court coffers 213,000 kina ($A97,650) meant for the son of the late Justice Timothy Hinchliffe.
Police have charged him with trying to pervert the course of justice.
During a brief hearing at Waigani Committal Court on Wednesday, Magistrate Cosmos Bidar asked Sir Salamo if he understood the charges against him.
Standing alone in the witness dock, wearing a blue shirt and red sweater vest, Sir Salamo replied only "yes I do" before the court was adjourned.
"It is only an allegation at this stage," Magistrate Bidar said.
He adjourned proceedings until May 7.
When asked for comment outside court, Sir Salamo said nothing, shaking his head slightly and waving the press away.
He had been listed to hear four cases in the PNG Supreme Court on Wednesday, however those and other cases scheduled for the next day have been moved to Friday.
It is unclear at this stage if Sir Salamo will preside over the hearings.
In December, the chief justice presided over the Supreme Court decision that found Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and his supporters did not follow due constitutional process when they dumped former prime minister Sir Michael Somare from the top job.
The government made numerous attempts to remove him from the case, citing a conflict of interest.
In February, Mr O'Neill announced Sir Salamo was suspended from active duty, pending an investigation by a tribunal of former judges into his handling of court funds.
An attempt in November to suspend him on the same charges landed Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah and Attorney-General Dr Allan Marat in jail briefly

No comments:

Post a Comment