11 Mar 2011

PNG leadership tribunal to continue despite PM's attempts to shut it down

10:43 am on 11 March 2011

A leadership tribunal into alleged misconduct by Papua New Guinea's prime minister is to continue next Monday, despite his legal team spending much of the first day trying to have it shut down.

The tribunal, which was sought by the Ombudsman Commission, is considering allegations Sir Michael failed to properly file financial statements going back up to 20 years.

The prime minister will be questioning the Commission's procedures in the Supreme Court on Monday, while his lawyer also claimed the action was ambiguous and not offensive.

But these arguments were rejected by three expatriate judges.

Our correspondent Jonathan Tannos reports the hearing was packed.

"People from all walks of life. There was also a protest march to demand that the PM step down, pending the hearing, the tribunal."