By Eric Haurupma – EM TV News, Port Moresby
A substantive court hearing of suspended members of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate, Thomas Elu and Timothy Gitua by the Police Commissioner was deferred to May 19.
This will give time for their counsels to file substantial submissions to sustain the matter in the next hearing.
The matter was presided over by Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, Justice Ere Kariko and Justice Leka Nablu at the Waigani Supreme Court in Port Moresby.
The pair were terminated by the Police Commissioner on legal grounds that they had contradicted Section 19 of the Police Act.
In light of this, the respondents applied for a judicial review under Section 25 of the Police Act, which provides them a statutory right of appeal.
Following a previous National Court ruling by Justice Leka Nablu and Justice Collin Makhail, the Police Commissioner has the power to make a decision, and the decision is final in accordance with the Police Act.
While awaiting their appeal to be determined, they applied for a separate judicial review in the Supreme Court on the issue that Commissioner Baki should review his decision or exhaust other means before going to court.
Counsel representing the pair, Barrister Ian Molloy, then filed a stay application against the previous court decision.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia adjourned the hearing, thus giving time for both parties to prepare their submissions.