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PNG Supreme Court Rules PMs Referral as Unconstitutional

A Public Prosecutor referral of Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, to a Leadership Tribunal in 2014, has been ruled unconstitutional.

A five-man Supreme Court bench handed down the decision last Friday, following three separate references put forward for the Court’s clarification.

The referral by the Public Prosecutor, was in relation to allegations of misconduct in office in the borrowing of the controversial K3 billion UBS loan, to purchase shares in Oil Search Limited.

Confusion in the powers of the Public Prosecutor to appoint the leadership tribunal has aroused three constitutional references from Attorney General, Ano Pala; Justice David Cannings; and Justice Collin Makail, for clarification.

In this case, the Supreme Court clarified that it was unconstitutional for the Public Prosecutor to take that action.

Therefore, the Court ruled that the direction issued on March 14, 2014 to Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, and all the parties involved in the negotiations of the loan and share purchase agreements, were invalid.


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