Davis Warns MPs

By : Post Courier

 

New Attorney-General condemns statements by Kerenga Kua, Sir Mekere and Patrick Pruaitch over the Prime Minister’s arrest

The Opposition was yesterday condemned for being “intellectually dishonest” in blatant attempts to politicise and confuse Papua New Guineans over issues relating to pending court matters.

Attorney-General Davis Steven slammed legal spokesman Kerenga Kua, former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta and Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch following their public utterances over the matter relating to the warrant of arrest for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Mr Steven was responding to a barrage of criticisms from the Opposition on the judicial review process pending before the court.

He described their claims of the review being an abuse of process as “not only legally wrong but hypocritical.”

“Mr Kua’s claims that the appeal and interim stay proceedings are an abuse of process is incorrect in law as two recent full Supreme Court cases found judicial review is available to challenge a warrant,” Mr Steven said.

Mr Steven said in one of those cases concerning the arrest warrant of the former attorney-general, the Supreme Court specifically held a stay could be applied for as the damage to a person is already complete after he is arrested.

“To say that the Chief Justice was misled is just simply wrong and offensive and defamatory to all involved and our Chief Justice,” Mr Steven said.

“This is the second time in as many weeks that Mr Kua has been disrespectful of our Chief Justice and I will not stand by and let this continue.”

Mr Steven said in any event the procedure the Prime Minister is using is exactly the same procedure used by Mr Kua when he challenged his own arrest warrant in 2010, which had been issued on a complaint by the now Madang Governor Peter Yama.

“Mr Kua was successful then in staying his arrest warrant, and also having it judicially reviewed and thrown out a year later.

“Mr Kua and the other Opposition Members are not only legally wrong but they are being intellectually dishonest in their blatant attempt to politicise this issue and to influence the minds of the people of Papua New Guinea against the newly formed government.

“The suggestion to refer the three lawyers who participated on the Supreme Court case is reprehensible as they were officers of the court merely doing the best for their clients in a lawful and proper manner.

“As the principal legal officer in this jurisdiction, I will not stand by and allow the Opposition to erode the administration of justice in Papua New Guinea and public confidence in the judicial system,” he said.

Meanwhile our front page headline yesterday, “We will not step down” a quote attributed to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Police Commissioner Gari Baki was erroneous.

The Police Commissioner did say he will not step down while the Prime Minister refused to comment on the issue because the matter was before the courts. We sincerely apologise and retract any suggestions that the Prime Minister did comment on the statement. The paper fully acknowledges that the matter is before the courts and any discussions outside may be deemed sub judice.

 

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