4 Nov 2011

PNG Prime Minister says no basis to claims his government wants chief justice removed

12:26 pm on 4 November 2011

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill says claims by former Attorney General, Sir Arnold Amet, that the government is trying to remove the Chief Justice are unfounded.

He says Sir Arnold, who's a former chief justice, should apologise.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Sir Arnold alleged this week that the government aimed to remove the current Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, and other judges. He says tampering with the judiciary will destroy the foundations of PNG's democratic institutions. Sir Arnold also says he believes the government is trying to influence the ruling of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of events surrounding the controversial removal of Sir Michael Somare as prime minister and the assumption of power by Mr O'Neill at the beginning of August. That court decision is due in five weeks. But Mr O'Neill says Sir Arnold's claims are outrageous and he should produce evidence to back them up. He says it's a move calculated to cast aspersions on his government. He says Sir Arnold needs to promptly apologise to the judiciary and the people of PNG. Mr O'Neill says his government respects the judiciary and its independence and he says he's confident it won't be swayed by Sir Arnold's claims."