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April 14, 2021

Another Stay On Warrant Against PM Arrest

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The National Court today granted another stay to the warrant of arrest against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

It also granted a leave for the Prime Minister’s Counsel to seek a judicial review of the District Court’s decision on the validity of the warrant of arrest.


Police Commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki filed an application and appeared before the court yesterday, seeking the court’s relief on the Waigani Committal Court’s Decision on June 12th, to issue a warrant of arrest against the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, and again on July 04th, dismissed his application seeking to set aside this Warrant of Arrest.


He claimed that the Chief Magistrate, acted without or, in excess of her jurisdiction in issuing the warrant of arrest in the absence of the laying of an information in accordance with Section 8 of the Arrest Act, and that the defendant also erred as a matter of law in issuing the warrant in circumstances in which there was non-compliance with Section 8 of the Arrest Act.


In simple, he claimed no information was produced to the first defendant, Nerrie Eliakim, in support of the issue for the warrant of arrest as required by Section 8 of the Arrest Act.


On these bases, he claimed the warrant of arrest was invalid.


Prime Minister, Peter O&rsquO’Neill was named as another plaintiff in this application, and when submissions went before Justice, Les Gavara Nanu this morning, he granted O’Neill’s counsel a leave to seek Judicial Review of the district court’s decision at the National Court.


As to Vaki’s application for a judicial review, Justice Nanu said this was a case where the commissioner was challenging the duties of his own men, and whether he has the power to seek a judicial review on this, will be something for the Supreme Court to decide and referred this to the Higher Court and did not grant leave for a review.


The court then further stayed the warrant of arrest against Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, until both matters return to court at a time that will be set by the court registry.


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