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Opposition Raises Concern Over Alleged Suspension of Chief Magistrate

By Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Opposition Leader, Don Polye, today slammed the government over alleged moves to suspend Chief Magistrate, Nerrie Eliakim.

This came after anticorruption body, Transparency International PNG, raised concerns about this supposed move, which it believes is a series of related events to the larger issue of the independence of the judiciary.

In another twist, Chief Secretary to Government, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, refuted claims of suspending the Chief Magistrate.

Earlier today in a statement, TIPNG pointed out the odd series of related events; including the sacking of an Attorney General and senior police officers, and the cutting of Task Force Sweep’s funding.

While the anticorruption body admits that the Chief Magistrate is not above the law, it is calling on the Attorney General to think carefully before taking any action that could be seen as impinging upon the independence of the judiciary.

In the meantime, Chief Secretary to Government, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, refuted claims by social media, that he suspended Chief Magistrate Eliakim.

He did however, receive a detailed document from the Magisterial Services, comprising of nine allegations against Eliakim.

Sir Manasupe also clarified that he had no authority to suspend her.

Sir Manasupe has gone through the complaints and has referred her to the Office of the Attorney General.

The Chief Secretary added that this has nothing to do with the Prime Minister, or the events that are unfolding with him.

He said, it just so happened that this referral occurred at this time, coinciding with the unfolding of events that are currently before the courts.

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