By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The Waigani National Court has this afternoon stayed the criminal proceeding against National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate head, Matthew Damaru.
The court gave orders that the Police Commissioner and his officers should not take criminal action against fraud investigators who were involved in the arrest of Justice Sir Bernard Sakora, until further notice.
Damaru was arrested and charged on June 16 in relation to the arrest of Sir Bernard, charged with two counts of abuse of office and unlawful deprivation of liberty.
His arrest comes after the arresting and charging of Sir Bernard in April for judicial corruption.
However, the Committal Court has dismissed the charges against Sir Bernard based on the grounds that formal procedures were not followed before his arrest.
Today, Damaru’s lawyer, McRonald Nale, argued in this exparte stay application that the warrant of arrest issued to the judge was valid.
He said Damaru was arrested and charged for performing his official duties.
After the court hearing, Damaru told the media that the fraud directorate will follow due processes again to re-arrest and pursue Sir Bernard’s case in Court.
In the meantime, Justice Hitelai Kiele-Polume, who presided this case, granted the stay application in the interest of justice and on the balance of convenience that Damaru and his fraud officers have a role to play as police officers, and have high profile cases to deal with in court.