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Port Moresby
April 16, 2021

Verdict On Damaru’s Legal Representation Application Deferred

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By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby

The verdict on Mathew Damaru’s legal representation by a private lawyer was deferred by the National Court in Port Moresby today.

Presiding judge, Justice Allan David, adjourned the decision because another proceeding on the same matter is before the Supreme Court.

This has resulted from a Special Reference which Damaru presented in court in March.

A Special Reference is a legal document which contains provisions of the Constitution or any other ACT that are used to argue a case in court.

For this case, Sections 197 and 198 of the Constitution and section 146 of the Police Force Act were cited.

These provisions are about the functions and responsibilities of a police officer, other than the Police Commissioner, to file, pursue or get involved in a civil court preceding regarding official police matters either before the Supreme or National Courts.

Judge David said until a verdict is handed down by the Supreme Court, his decision on this application will remain deferred.

“In my view, the Supreme Court is seized of the Special Reference and should be allowed to give its opinion on questions posed there including that relating to retainer,” Justice David said.

The parties involved in this case include, head of National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate, Chief Inspector, Mathew Damaru; Victor Isouve, the Assisstant Crimes Commissioner; and Police Commissioner Gari Baki.

Damaru is represented by Jema lawyers, Isouve by Nicolas Tema, and Young and William lawyers are representing Police Commissioner, Gari Baki.

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