Court Rules in Koim’s Favour


By Vasinatta Yama, EM TV – Port Moresby

A motion filed by Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, and Attorney General, Ano Palo, for alleged contempt of court has been dismissed.

The case was filed against Task Force Sweep Team Chairman, Sam Koim, and the Chief Editor of The National newspaper, Pama Anio.

The National Court ruled in favour of Koim and Anio, with the matter in regard to an article published in The National under Koim’s name which stated the names, status and results of cases investigated by the Task Force Sweep Team.

The information was published on social media, which received comments from members of the public.

Justice Colin Makail handed down the decision that the motion for contempt was incompetent.

In 2014, Koim had sought judicial review of the National Executive Council’s (NEC) decision to disband the Task Force Sweep Team, and was granted an interim order on October 14, 2014.

In the order, the plaintiff (Koim) was restrained from discussing the current proceedings in public, including the media.

However, on November 18 an article on the cases investigated by the Task Force Sweep Team was published.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the NEC asked the court to direct the Registrar to charge Koim for contempt by speaking to the media.

However, Justice Makail said the procedure was an interference with the discretion of the court, and was an abuse of the court’s process.

Justice Makail said the court on its own motion or initiative may direct the Registrar.

Following this he concluded that the motion was incompetent, and dismissed the order to refer Koim to the PNG Law Society or Lawyers Statutory Committee for disciplinary action.

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