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Port Moresby
July 15, 2020

Damaru out of Prime Minister’s proceeding

The National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate will not be a party in the Judicial Review of Prime Minister’s warrant of arrest issued in 2014.

A three-man Supreme Court bench today refused the joinder application of the Director, Mathew Damaru, and his Deputy, Timothy Gitua.

The bench also set aside the National Court’s decision which had allowed them to join as the third respondents in the review.

The three-man Supreme Court bench, Justices Ambeng Kandakasi, Derek Hartshorn and Stephen Kassman, ruled that the Primary Judge of the National Court, Justice Collin Makail, erred in allowing the fraud officers to join the proceeding.

The bench said the Police Commissioner is the proper person to be a party to the judicial review proceeding on behalf of the Police force.

Damaru, and Gitua, applied to join as they were directly involved in the warrant of arrest.

However, the Supreme Court said the subject of the Judicial Review does not affect the police, as it was to review the Chief Magistrate, Nerrie Eliakim’s decision to issue the warrant of arrest.

Damaru had also argued in person that the reason why he persisted was that he wanted the arrest warrant executed, but the Police Commissioner did not.

The three-man bench disagreed with him, saying that a member of a disciplinary force is obliged to follow directives from the Police Commissioner, in which, in this proceeding, he was the fifth respondent.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court set aside the National Court Judgement and ordered for Damaru and Gitua to pay the cost of Prime Minister, and the parties’ involved.

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