15 Nov 2011

PNG govt dumps suspension order against Chief Justice

6:55 am on 15 November 2011

The government of Papua New Guinea has dumped a suspension order against the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which sparked the arrest of the deputy prime minister and the attorney-general

Following a four hour meeting of cabinet yesterday, the Deputy PM Belden Namah said the suspension order against Sir Salamo Injia would now be droppped.

Mr Namah and Attorney-General Allan Marat had presented themselves for arrest yesterday, 72 hours after the order was given, but were quickly released on bail.

Mr Namah told reporters in Port Moresby that if they go through with this consideration, it will cause a constitutional crisis.

He says they have now rescinded their decisions of the 10th and 12th of November respectively.

However, he said the charges against Sir Salamo, which range from mishandling a dead judge's estate to misappropriation of court funds, were serious.

He repeated his claim, since confirmed by police, that Sir Salamo had put a "permanent injunction" on the investigation last year.

He also added that the allegations against the chief justice still stand.