13 Feb 2012

PNG Supreme Court sitting on validity of government put back another week

5:53 pm on 13 February 2012

Sir Michael Somare's son Arthur has vowed to continue the legal fight to have the O'Neill government turfed out of office after the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea adjourned for another week.

The court convened today and was expected to issue more directions for fresh hearings on the constitutionality of parliament's move to legalise its decision to end the 43-year political career of Sir Michael late last year.

However, neither side, except lawyers for the deputy prime minister, Belden Namah, had filed documentation, prompting the court to reschedule its directions hearing until next Monday.

The deputy chief justice, Gibbs Salika, says the court has decided to hear all the applications who wish to be joined as interveners.

Lawyers for the O'Neill government had raised the issue of Sir Michael Somare and his followers appointing heads of departments.

And Justice Salika says the issue now before the Supreme Court is about the legitimacy of the government and only a legitimate government can make appointments.

He says they can wait for the Supreme Court reference, then they can go hell fire if they want to.

Outside the court, Arthur Somare told reporters he would not give up the fight to have the government of Peter O'Neill thrown out, even if Mr O'Neill won the election, which is set for June this year.