14 Nov 2011

PNG deputy PM ponders complying with arrest order

5:25 am on 14 November 2011

Papua New Guinea's deputy prime minister Belden Namah says he will talk to lawyers before deciding on whether to hand himself over to police following a Supreme Court order for his arrest on contempt charges.

Mr Namah says he has received the orders from the Supreme Court for his and the Attorney-General Dr Allan Marat's arrest, but he says he is standing by the government's decision to suspend the Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia.

On Thursday, Mr Namah announced the suspension and investigation of Sir Salamo into multiple matters, including alleged mismanagement of court funds and contempt of court.

The government's move came as PNG is awaiting a Supreme Court verdict next month on the constitutionality of the government formed in August under disputed circumstances as the then prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, was in medical care in Singapore.