14 Nov 2011

Senior PNG ministers hand themselves into police over contempt charges

2:56 pm on 14 November 2011

Papua New Guinea's deputy prime minister and attorney-general have turned themselves in to police, 72 hours after the Supreme Court charged them with contempt.

Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah and Attorney-General Allan Marat presented themselves at Port Moresby's police headquarters this morning.

An arrest warrant was issued on Friday by the Supreme Court, a day after Mr Namah announced the suspension of the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia pending an investigation into alleged financial misdealings.

In a brief statement to the media, Mr Namah defended the government's decision to suspend Sir Salamo, but said he and Dr Marat would obey the law.

Mr Namah says the two ministers are demonstrating that they respect the law of the land.

The police spokesman Dominic Kakas says the pair will be processed and taken to Port Moresby's Boroko jail cells.

It's understood Mr Namah and Dr Marat will apply to have the arrest order dismissed before the courts later today.