By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Eastern Highlands Governor, Julie Soso was found guilty for contempt by the Supreme Court, in Port Moresby.
The verdict was delivered by a three man bench this afternoon, before a packed court room.
The Supreme Court, however, found the other three parties also cited for contempt, Not Guilty.
Soso’s conviction comes a month after her husband’s death. She is the first female governor in the country to be convicted for contempt.
The three man bench included Justice Cannings, Justice David and Justice Polume-Kiele.
The other three parties cited for contempt were the two acting provincial administrators, Samson Akunai and Alvin Inamoi and the Personnel Management Secretary, John Kali.
They were cited in April by Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia after Inamoi was appointed as acting PA.
All were present in court when the verdict was handed down.
Though all were charged together, Justice David Cannings, read out individual judgments for each respondents.
For Samson Akunai, the court heard that he had acknowledged the Supreme Orders and had stepped down from acting as the acting PA.
For Governor Soso, the court found that she was well aware of the court orders, but went ahead and signed a letter appointing Alvin Inamoi as the second acting PA.
For Alvin Inamoi, evidence show that he was only responding to an advertisement on the vacancy of the PA’s position.
The court also heard that Inamoi stopped from attempting to take up the office, after learning of the court orders.
While for DPM Secretary, John Kali, evidences submitted in court, revealed that the letter he wrote to Inamoi was only to inform him of his appointment and not an instruction to take up the office.
Based on these submissions, Soso was convicted while the three men were found not guilty.
July 25 will be the date Soso’s lawyers will be making submissions on her penalty.