By PNG Echo
The defamation case by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon Peter O’Neill against Noel Anjo Kolao and Sonja Barry Ramoi in the Waigani courts today (24 April) was adjourned to 20 May for special fixture hearing of interim orders.
The judge deemed that the defence lawyers did not have their case ready and, as such, were ill-prepared to continue.
The order restraining Anjo and Ramoi from making any defamatory remarks against the Prime Minister was to remain in force.
Only Anjo appeared in person, resplendently attired in shiny silver – Ramoi was absent, notwithstanding that the court had ordered her attendance.
An irritated judge lambasted lawyers for the the defence and advised the need for Anjo to be counselled on the meaning of ‘defamation’ particularly on the need for comment to be based on facts.
Asking for clarification on what Anjo was claiming was a factual statement in his alleged defamatory comments, Anjo’s lawyer replied to the judge that they weren’t true.
Counsel for the defence has also filed a motion seeking to remove opposing counsel Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr for the Prime Minister.
Although citing a ‘conflict of interest’ due to Nonggorr’s alleged critical statements of Sonja Barry Ramoi, the interest presents more like a ‘confluence’ than a ‘conflict’ (both the PM and Counsel have a similar interest). This will also be argued on 20 May at Waigani.