23 Nov 2011

PNG opposition says it will move to have Speaker of House arrested

8:32 am on 23 November 2011

Papua New Guinea's opposition says it will move to have speaker of the house Jeffery Nape arrested and charged with contempt of court.

The move comes after Mr Nape declared former planning minister Paul Tiensten's seat vacant and had him evicted from the House.

Mr Nape had said Mr Tiensten had missed three sittings, one in August and two in September.

But former Attorney-General Sir Arnold Amet says Mr Nape is in contempt of court because his powers to suspend ministers are currently under the Supreme Court's microscope.

He also added Mr Nape tried to dump former Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare from his seat, using the same three sitting rule, on September 6.

Sir Arnold says he will file an application at the Supreme Court today to have Mr Nape arrested.

Paul Tiensten was in Brisbane at the time of the sittings, having fled PNG after a corruption task force tried to question him over missing funds from his former portfolio he held as planning minister.