by Rachael Shisei – EM TV, Madang
The court case brought forward by the Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry regarding the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) has been adjourned to 21 July.
The hearing will look at the restraining order served to several landowners in the area, as well as other prominent figures.
The two week adjournment was granted after the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Brian Waffi, asked the National court for an extension, stating that ammendments have to be made to several documents.
The defendants which include Sir Angmai Bilas, the Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather, Nancy Sullivan, Director of Nancy Sullivan & Associates, Dorothy Tekwie, President of PNG Greens NGO and eight landowners from the Bel area of Madang.
They pleaded for the court hearing to proceed because they have travelled from as far as Vanimo in the Sandaun province to attend.
Justice David Cannings however granted the adjournment given that the plaintiff, the Trade, Commerce and Industry Department, meet the costs of all the defendants present in court today.
A defendant’s lawyer also asked for the restraining order motion to be dismissed, but Justice Cannings said that will not be the case, as this is the first time the matter has been brought to the National Court’s attention.
According to the plaintiffs, the restraining order under section 155(4) of the constitution, seeks to restrain the defendants or their agents etc., from conducting any consultative meetings with the project’s landowners, for the purpose of interfering, intimidating or stopping the plaintiff, the Trade, Commerce and Industry Department and its agents from accessing and developing the PMIZ project.
This is also to restrain the defendants from holding any protests, pending the full determination of the issues raised in these proceedings by the courts.
The Madang Provincial Government has also joined the proceeding, asking to be listed as a defendant in the case.