Paraka again evading exposure and justice
PNG court prevents tabling of Paraka report
Source: Radio New Zealand
Papua New Guinea’s National Court has issued an order to prevent a Commission of Inquiry report into payments made to legal firms by the state, from being tabled in parliament.
The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, announced the inquiry last year, a day after an arrest warrant was served on him in relation to his alleged involvement in illegal payments to a law firm headed by Paul Paraka.
Our correspondent, Todagia Kelola, says the report by former judge Warwick Andrews is understood to have been completed, but the Fly River Provincial Executive Council went to court to seek a judicial review, arguing unfair treatment.
“That report was given to the Prime Minister to be tabled by him on the floor of parliament. Now the Fly River Provincial Government was aggrieved by that and went to the National Court seeking a judicial review on the COI’s report.”
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Court stops lawyer payments report
Source: Samuel Raitano / Post Courier
THE National Court had prevented Prime Minister Peter O’Neill from tabling the commission of inquiry (COI) report on the payments to lawyers and law firms by the State.
The stay order was successfully sought by the Fly River provincial executive council.
The COI was carried out by judge Warwick Andrew following issues taken to court over monies paid to law firms by the State which were claimed to have been dubious in nature.
The Fly River provincial executive council, led by the governor and district administrator, had asked the court to stop the report from being tabled as they wanted a judicial review by the court of law on its findings and recommendations.
Acting Judge Leka Nablu when handing down the decision said the plaintiff had relied on four grounds and one ultimate ground.
The ruling yesterday was in the PEC’s favour because it was claimed that the plaintiff (PEC) was not informed that there would be adverse findings made against it.
Justice Nablu said it was found that there was an arguable case and if the tabling was allowed to proceed there would be irreparable damages done to the plaintiff’s reputation if the court, in its judicial review, found that the contents of the report were not that correct.
Also if the judicial review found that the matter taken before it was improper it would not affect the Prime Minister to have delayed the tabling of the report.
In order to maintain the status quo, the tabling of the report was temporarily stopped until the judicial review was settled.