Koim: It’s crying time again – Case dismissed

By PNG Echo

13343079_1719514234955147_3481714574178322515_nJust hours ago, the National Court of Papua New Guinea handed down its decision on the Judicial Review of the disbanding of the Taskforce Sweep brought by Chairman Sam Koim.

The court found for the Prime Minister, NEC, Attorney General and Independent State of Papua New Guinea, represented by Mal Varitimos, Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr and Nicolas Tame, and against Koim on all counts except the defense objection as to the competency of the plaintiff’s proceedings.

As the judgment found that the court did not have power to review the NEC’s decision to disband the agency and that the plaintiff had no standing to commence the proceedings even if it had, the objection as to the competency of the proceedings became redundant, anyway.

Koim’s arguments to the contrary were dismissed as not being established.

Makail’s summary

The proceedings will be dismissed on the grounds that first, the decisions in question are not reviewable. Secondly, even if they were, the requirements of natural justice did not apply. Thirdly, bias and bad faith have not been established, so as, unreasonableness. A further ground for dismissal is that the plaintiff lacked requisite standing to commence these proceedings. The objection to the competency of these proceedings was dismissed.

Writer’s comment

Justice Makail is a judge that has created the perception that he is firmly on the side of Koim and his cronies by the number of cases where he has found for them that have been overturned on appeal. Yet, he could not find any sound legal reasons to accept Koim’s arguments for his continued employment and the continuation of Taskforce Sweep.

The executive government is the body mandated to make these sort of decisions, not the judiciary, as Justice Makail so rightly pointed out in his judgment.

In my opinion, Sam Koim was promoted to a position way above his competency level – and I have written about the reasons for my opinion on many occasions. He should have accepted the decision to disband the agency and do away with his services with grace and dignity – not taken up the court’s time in a matter that should never have been before it.  He has been pandering to his own bruised ego like a jilted cuckold.

 

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Anti-corruption? I don’t think so

By PNG Echo

Not in PNG where they're just anti-government
Not in PNG where they’re just anti-government

While corruption is a problem in PNG, the anti-corruption movements it has spawned are proving to be an even greater one.

The recent launching of a Facebook site, PNG Anti-Corruption Movement for Change (PNGACMC) gave its founders pause for thought (at least it should have) as they provided a forum for black hatred expressed in the form of threats of extreme sexual violence and torture by one contributor against another.

The threats were so horrific and disgustingly graphic that one person wrote it was

…the worse thing she had ever read on Facebook.

The founders and leaders of the group were ill-equipped to deal with this and their response was inadequate and brings into question how efficacious and controllable this movement is …and whether it should be disbanded before it causes any serious harm.

The leaders have clearly not thought through the ramifications of what they are doing. That makes them just dangerous vigilantes and zealots – one of its leaders, Lucas Kiap, has already expressed the opinion that the end justifies the means.  It doesn’t – it never has, and it never will.

The threats are now the subject of a police investigation in Australia – but, of course, as they emanate from an anonymous and cowardly source, the chances of a successful prosecution are limited.

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

Lucas Kiap, in his favour, did publish a disclaimer that sought to distance the movement from that sort of behaviour.  In that disclaimer he named this writer and lawyer Tiffany Twivey Nonggorr as not being the enemy.  However, I can’t recall an apology.

Yet still, the declaration started a war of words with that other ‘anti-corruption’ fighter and biographer of the infamous logger and casino habitué, Belden Namah, one Sonja Barry Ramoi.

They aren’t fighting corruption any more, but fighting each other – over Twivey Nonggorr and this writer and whether we should be recognized as public enemy numbers one and two. Continue reading Anti-corruption? I don’t think so

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Mr Popular: Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika

By PNG Echo.

Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika
Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika

It’s official. Deputy Chief Justice, Sir Gibbs Salika, is the darling of PNGs social media (and the mainstream press seems equally impressed.)

Lately, to a wave of public approval, he’s handed down a guilty verdict on the cases of Governor Havilo Kavo – Gulf Province, Member of Parliament for Komo-Magarima, Francis Potape, Former Minister for National Planning and Pomio MP, Paul Tiensten, Commissioner of Police, Tom Kulunga and this week he hit the approval jackpot with his conviction of Jimmy Maladina over the NPF scandal 17 years ago.

Continue reading Mr Popular: Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika

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All of the 77 evil and corrupt SABL’s are cancelled.

By PNG Echo

Today will go down in the annals of PNG history as a day when something insightful, far-reaching and concrete was finally done about corrupt practises in PNG.  But this is not my story to tell – it belongs to all those that have fought tooth and nail to save the environment.  So over to you Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr who writes:

Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, lawyer and eco-warrior
Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, lawyer and eco-warrior

You want to talk about corruption fighting?  Well this government has just killed the biggest corrupt dealing of the past 10 years.

During the Somare government, a heinous scheme of issuing SABLs over large forest areas was created under the guise of Agri/forestry leases.

The Forests Act was amended under the then Forest Minister Belden Namah to allow for large scale clear-felling permits that had never been allowed for over 50 hectares before.  SABLs were then given over hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest under the pretext that the trees needed to be clear felled so that agricultural projects could start.

Belden Namah the Minister (and logger) who altered the laws to allow for the evil SABLs and was first to take advantage in Bewani
Belden Namah the Minister (and logger) who altered the laws to allow for the evil SABLs and was first to take advantage in Bewani

These 99-year special purpose agricultural business leases were given over 5 million hectares of land in PNG amounting to the alienation of 10% of all of the land in PNG.

The leases meant that the peoples customary rights to the land were suspended for 99 years.

Up until these leases were issued, only 3% of the land in PNG had been alienated (taken away) since Independence from the customary landowners and 97% was still held customarily by landowners but within a few years 10% went.

That was the food and social security if 100s of thousands of people just taken from them.

Literally 100s of thousands of hectares of old-growth forest was cleared – with clearance permits obtained for shonky “agricultural projects”.

Alois Jerewai - the recalcitrant SABL Commission
Alois Jerewai – the recalcitrant SABL Commissioner

A commission of inquiry into these SABLs was started – yes there were issues with the reports as only two of the three commissioners submitted their reports [ Editor’s note: Alois Jerewai was the Commissioner who did not table his report – he later went on to become a legal representative of the man who enabled these leases – Belden Namah] – so a ministerial committee was established to pool the findings of the commissioners.

Their work is done.

NEC yesterday declared all of these disgraceful SABL leases cancelled.  They are gone. Continue reading All of the 77 evil and corrupt SABL’s are cancelled.

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Anjo/Ramoi fail: Twivey stays.

By PNG Echo.

Noel Anjo Kolao and Sonja Barry Ramoi have been unsuccessful in their bid to have the PNG courts disqualify lawyer, Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr and her law firm Twivey Lawyers from representing the Prime Minister in his defamation suit against the two self-styled activists with strong links to the Opposition Leader.

Justice Kandakasi handed down the decision last Monday in an on-the-spot decision at the National Court, Waigani that saw Anjo in attendance but Ramoi absent.

Anjo and Ramoi were ordered by the court to pay the Prime Minister’s costs in the amount of K1500. Continue reading Anjo/Ramoi fail: Twivey stays.

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K3 billion case dismissed: Polye to pay costs.

By PNG Echo

Waigani: 8 May 2014:

Case dismissed in its entirety.

In an eagerly awaited decision, Deputy Chief Justice, Gibbs Salika dismissed the entire court challenge of former Treasurer, Don Polye, against the K3 billion loan obtained by the Government of Papua New Guinea to buy shares in Oil Search (PNG LNG) on behalf of Papua New Guinea.

The Deputy Chief Justice found the case to be an ‘abuse of process’ as argued by lawyer for the Prime Minister, Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr.

All and any interlocutory orders pertaining to the case were also dismissed.

Justice Salika found that lawyers for the prosecution, using an ‘originating summons’ to file the proceedings instead of instigating a ‘Judicial Review’, (as the challenge was to a public law decision – that of the National Executive Council) abused legal processes.

The Judge further remarked that he was mindful that Polye was disputing his own decision (Polye was a member of the NEC at the time the decision was taken) – a further abuse of process.

Costs were awarded against Polye.

 

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Mr Namah – who’s saying what? (An open letter to the Opposition Leader of PNG)

4033280-3x2-940x627Dear Mr Namah,
My father often used to say when I’d interrupt him:

“When I talk to the organ-grinder, I don’t expect the monkey to reply.”

Using this metaphor, PNG would be forgiven if they were getting confused as to who is who in your relationship (alleged) with Sonja Barry Ramoi.

I say “alleged” because while she is busy publicly giving the impression that the Opposition Leader of Papua New Guinea does not sneeze without her say so, you have been especially quiet about her.

All this from a man who the Prime Minister has stated has nothing to offer PNG but his big mouth – and NOW you’re quiet?

Anyway, Ramoi is often seen to write: “I will be advising him…” this – or “I told him to do…” that.  Which is all well and good because whoever has given you advice, it’s been spectacularly unsuccessful.

Can you count your MPs on the fingers of one hand yet?

Continue reading Mr Namah – who’s saying what? (An open letter to the Opposition Leader of PNG)

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Anjo and Ramoi: Not prepared and not there.

By PNG Echo

imagesThe 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.

Ramoi - AWOL
Ramoi – AWOL

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.

Anjo in the embrace of the Opposition Leader, Belden Namah
Anjo in the embrace of the Opposition Leader, Belden Namah

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.

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

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.

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Court documents: Prime Minister O’Neill sues for defamation

The Prime Minster wasn’t bluffing.

WS 278 OF 2014- COURT ORDER pg. 1-2WS 278 OF 2014- COURT ORDER pg. 2-2WS 278 OF 2014- COURT ORDER pg. 3-2

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Polye: Courts will not overrule PM

Is there too much overlapping and duplication of processes in the operation of the State of PNG?  Does the latest court challenge of former Treasurer Don Polye highlight the excesses? Asks PNG Echo

Former Treasurer. Don Polye
Former Treasurer. Don Polye

Yesterday (April 8) in the National Courts at Waigani, Justice Kandakasi declined to make an order re-instating Mr Polye as Treasurer pending a review of the correctness of the grounds for his dismissal.

Justice Kandakasi reminded Mr Polye that he was a judge and not the Prime Minister where the prerogative lay.

In another submission, which also crossed over legal boundaries and jurisdictions, Mr Napu lawyer for Mr Polye, sought a restraining order on the K3 billion loan that was obtained to buy Oil Search shares pending proceedings to establish the legality of the loan.

While Oil Search lawyers called for an adjournment because of the lack of notice emanating from Mr Polye’s lawyer, lawyers for the state argued that, as the Ombudsman’s Commission (OC) was looking into the case, if a ruling had to be made then it should be that the persons named in that inquiry should be directed to comply with the order until it was lifted or until there were further directives of the courts.

Justice Kandakasi so ordered.

The case was adjourned until 6 May when the learned judge expected that the state would have filed affidavits establishing the loans legality

Lawyer Tiffany Twivey -Nonggorr, acting for the State, said information establishing the legality of the processes had already been collated for the OC and she expected that they would have the necessary affidavits filed by 30 April in readiness.

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