12 Nov 2011

More turns in PNG judicial saga with orders for arrest of senior cabinet ministers

9:51 am on 12 November 2011

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah and Attorney General Dr Allan Marat.

This follows an order directed yesterday by Mr Namah for the suspension of the Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, citing a police report that he is facing charges of breaching a contempt order, and mismanaging court finances.

Johnny Blades reports.

"The order to suspend the Chief Justice came as the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill flew to Hawaii to attend the APEC summit, and just a week after the government strongly denied claims it was seeking to remove Sir Salamo. The move is seen by critics of the government as an attempt to influence the upcoming Supreme Court verdict on the legitimacy of Peter O'Neill's election. Now the situation is threatening to spiral into chaos after the Supreme Court ordered the Attorney General and the deputy Prime Minister before court on Monday. The order has also restrained the government from implementing the suspension of the Chief Justice."