Paraka fails in latest bid to escape justice
Paraka’s court bid dismissed
An application by controversial lawyer Paul Paraka to stop a series of criminal proceedings against him at the committal court was refused by the Waigani committal court yesterday.
Mr Paraka, who has been charged for defrauding the state of huge amounts of money and facing a series of counts of conspiracy, false pretence, misappropriation and money laundering, filed an application at the district court to stay the committal proceedings pending an appeal he is pursuing at the National Court to consolidate all the criminal proceedings against him.
The application was filed pursuant to section 5, 9 and 32 of the District Court Act and seeking inherent powers of the District Court to stay the proceedings pending the determination of the National Court appeal.
Mr Paraka had submitted that the outcome of the National Court appeal would have direct effect on the committal court proceedings, and therefore those proceedings should be stayed pending the National Court appeal.
Senior committal court magistrate Cosmos Bidar, while making a ruling on the application, explained that the District Court does not have inherent powers and the clause relied on in the application was misconceived.
Magistrate Bidar explained that Section 155 of the Constitution only refers to inherent powers of the National and Supreme Courts and not the District Courts.
“Also in my view, the outcome of the appeal would not affect other cases…there is no appeal against any of the orders or rulings in relation to the current committal court cases.
“The appeal which is pending before the National Court would be either upheld or dismissed. Applications to consolidate all cases may go before another magistrate if the application is successful.
“Another thing is the question of whether the National Court has powers to consolidate the pending cases,” Mr Bidar said.
The magistrate therefore dismissed the application.