6 Jul 2011

Pruaitch claims he is still PNG minister

3:03 pm on 6 July 2011

Papua New Guinea cabinet minister, Patrick Pruaitch, claims he's still the country's finance and treasury minister despite last Friday's ruling that he is suspended until a leadership tribunal hearing is completed.

And the newspaper, The National, quotes the acting prime minister Sam Abal as confirming that Mr Pruaitch retains the key portfolios.

The paper reports that Mr Pruaitch accuses the Supreme Court of abusing its judicial powers and creating confusion and uncertainty in PNG laws.

Mr Pruaitch says his legal advice is that he's still minister and that the court hadn't been asked to deal with the issue of suspension from office.

He says that it went ahead and considered the issue is a matter of grave concern bordering on abuse of judicial powers and in contravention of the courts' rules on precedence.

Mr Abal says Mr Pruaitch remains a minister until officers of the court have served legally binding decisions on him.

He says the government will respect court decisions but Mr Pruaitch is a leader and he must be respected, too.