Courts gag Sonja Barry Ramoi and Noel Anjo Kolao

By PNG Echo

Sonja Barry Ramoi - court gag
Sonja Barry Ramoi – court gag

Lawyers for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill have today obtained interlocutory orders from Waigani National Court (ex parte) preventing Sonja Barry Ramoi and Noel Anjo Kolao publishing anything defamatory against the Prime Minister (including on the internet or social media fora) until a defamation case can be heard.

This follows the filing of 16 separate defamation charges against the duo by the Prime Minister in the National Court on 2 April.

Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, Lawyer for the Prime Minister
Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, Lawyer for the Prime Minister

Today’s decision was handed down by Justice Kandakasi and a date of 24 April was set when the matter will return to court.

Judge Kandaskasi ordered that both Kolao and Ramoi should attend in person – not just their lawyers and has suggested that lawyers for the Prime Minister should use Facebook as well as the ordinary means to serve them both

Lawyer Tiffany Twivey- Nonggorr, for the Prime Minister has contacted both and asked them to advise when and where they can be served.

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7 thoughts on “Courts gag Sonja Barry Ramoi and Noel Anjo Kolao

  1. The Turkish Prime Minister’s total ban on social media Twitter after users spread corruption allegation involving the Prime Minister and his family members was lifted by the Turkish Constitutional court as it was totally a breach of “freedom of expression”. A another court ordered the lifting of a similar ban on YouTube.

    It’s quite surprising to see Peter Oniel taking legal action. Does he or his lawyer knows any existence of law on “freedom of expression” ? I am sure the court doesn’t want to waste their time on this & hope any ruling is imminent.

    • In contrast, a male was sued for defamation on Twitter recently in Oz against a teacher – the male only had 80 followers. There is a significant difference between fair comment and defamation – I believe they have grossly overstepped that mark – must have for the judge to grant this interlocutory order. Besides, this is quite different to imposing a ban on social media. The order does not stop them making fair comment only for publishing defamatory remarks.

    • The PM I beleive is hiding something thats the whole reason why he and his/her so-called lawyer is taking this matter to the court

  2. Really? The PM feels he’s name has been rubbished? Come on, give me a break, PM what about all those mothers you rubbish by not channeling thousands of kina to the hospitals and they end up giving birth on the floor due to lack of bed space, what about you rubbishing me when you stole my meager savings in the NPF saga etc etc etc…..You orait oh

  3. What the hell does the PM think he is???Dictatorship is at its growth??Wanna be like North Korea with all media medium being controlled?freedom of expression being violated..we are democractic country..Q. is the PM hiding something??why not come out clear??there is a stinky smell about this..

  4. O’Neil, being PM makes you a servant of the State. You work for us, the People of PNG. We have the right to know what you’re doing with our country, our resources, our people, our wealth. You’re no different from any other PNGean. You’re just a regular citizen with a very different job description, that’s all. There are no special privileges for you as PM and you’re certainly not above the Constitution. Be a grownup and take criticism like a man especially if you’re in the wrong!!

    • Well he is different to every other PNGean in that he’s the Prime Minister – and that is a unique position. However, he has the same rights as any other PNGean and rather more responsibility. Therefore, he is well within his right not to want to be defamed – as is every other citizen and the recourse available to him and to which he is availing himself is the exact same recourse available to all PNGeans. You can’t load a person up with responsibilities and then apply the double whammy of denying them their rights.