2 Feb 2012

PNG's O'Neill administration suspends Chief Justice

8:55 pm on 2 February 2012

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister says his cabinet has suspended Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia to allow for allegations of misconduct in office against him to be heard.

Peter O'Neill says the allegations are very serious and the government has been troubled by them for some time.

The Prime Minister says the Chief Justice must be given every opportunity to clear his name against these allegations while the high office he holds should not be constantly dogged by them.

He says the decision by Cabinet has nothing to do with the Supreme Court decision in December which ruled that Mr O'Neill's election as Prime Minister was unconstitutional, or related proceedings currently before the National and Supreme Court.

The panel inquiring into the allegations will be headed by retired judge Justice Graham Ellis.

Other panel members are retired judges Paul Akuram and Sir Kubulan Los.

Peter O'Neill says the government has allocated ten million kina for the tribunal.