1 Jun 2010

PNG Supreme Court suspends finance minister Pruaitch

2:30 pm on 1 June 2010

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has ordered the suspension from office of the Finance and Treasury Minister, Patrick Pruaitch.

He has been suspended on full pay pending an appeal against his referral by the Ombudsman Commission to the Leadership Tribunal.

The Leadership Tribunal was to begin hearing the case in February but had been stopped by a restraining order obtained by Mr Pruaitch.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that as soon as the tribunal was convened, the suspension of the leader immediately came into effect.

The judges said that for a leader to go to the courts to turn his situation around was an abuse of process.

It said the office belongs to the people of Papua New Guinea and for the leader to continue to remain in office made when he had been referred to the tribunal makes a mockery of the Constitution.