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Port Moresby
January 24, 2021

Attorney General Faces Court Over Media Release

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Attorney-General Ano Pala was summoned to the Supreme Court today by Justice Ambeng Kandakasi in regard to Pala’s statement in the newspaper on Tuesday.

Ano Pala was told to provide evidence to substantiate what he claimed in the papers when the matter returns to court tomorrow morning.

Pala issued a statement on Monday night that was printed in the papers the next morning, claiming there was no Supreme Court’Order in place stopping Paul Paraka payments and that the payments made to this law firm were legal.

The Supreme Court summoned Attorney-General Ano Pala yesterday to appear today in court over concerns of newspaper reports by Mr. Pala which seem to contradict Supreme Court findings.

Justice Kandakasi said the news report provided to the public an impression that the Supreme Court was wrong and was subject to a higher authority.

He, therefore, said he summoned Mr. Pala on behalf of the court to ascertain this story and asked Pala to provide evidence to show that the Supreme Court’s rulings and findings were wrong.

Justice Kandakasi said it had taken years to hear the Paraka case, with one failed Commission of Inquiry coupled with ongoing delays. He said the matter has not been simple and the court needs the Attorney General’s evidence from which he spoke on in the media.

When Pala’s counsel asked for an adjournment because they were only informed of the court’s directions this morning and raised concerns of sub judice, Justice Kandakasi said the state should be the first one to practice law and not use the media for trial as the matter was before the court.

He said he would grant a brief adjournment because of the fact that the AG had evidence and does not need time to compile this.

However, he warned all parties involved in this matter to refrain from using the media as their courtroom in the interim.

He deferred the matter to tomorrow at 9:30 am for consideration and possible’Orders.


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