By PNG Echo
National Courts, Waigani, 18 July, 2014
The current arrest warrant on Prime Minister, O’Neill, has been stayed pending the hearing and determination of a Supreme Court reference.
This morning, Justice Gavara-Nanu after hearing arguments on behalf of the State, the Police and the Prime Minister, granted leave for Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill to judicially review the decision of the Chief Magistrate.
The Chief Magistrate, in an earlier decision in the District Court, had refused an application to allow Police Commissioner Vaki to withdraw the arrest warrant against the Prime Minister.
The judicial review was sought of two decisions:
(1) to grant the warrant (as there was no information and supporting statement (an application) before the district court to enable the granting of a warrant) and
(2) the refusal to allow Police commissioner to withdraw it.
Along with the granting of the judicial review, the constitutional question, raised by the police, concerning the powers of the Police Commissioner to restrain his officers from making arrests, was referred to the Supreme Court.
The arrest warrant was stayed – pending the outcome.
This morning’s court hearing followed from one that began yesterday when there were only two parties to the application – the police and the State.
Justice Gavara-Nanu stated that the Prime Minister should be a plaintiff and make his own submissions as he was also aggrieved by the decision.
The court was adjourned until this morning to facilitate this.