6 Mar 2012

PNG chief justice charged with perverting course of justice

5:48 pm on 6 March 2012

Papua New Guinea's Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia is expected to appear in court tomorrow after being charged with trying to obstruct a police investigation into his management of the courts.

Sir Salamo was arrested in Port Moresby today and later released on his own recognisance.

Don Wiseman has more details:

"The police spokesperson, Superintendent Dominic Kakas, says Sir Salamo has been charged with obstructing a police investigation into his intervention in the handling of a dead judge's estate. Police allege the chief justice personally intervened in the handling of the late Justice Timothy Hinchliffe's estate and illegally redirected a cheque of about 100 thousand US dollars, meant for the former judge's son, into court coffers. Mr Kakas says police allege Sir Salamo intervened and ordered the cheque be recalled and had a new cheque made to the court's staff services. In December, Sir Salamo presided over the Supreme Court decision which found Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and his supporters did not follow due constitutional process when they dumped former prime minister Sir Michael Somare from the top job. The Government had suspended him ahead of that decision but after an outcry withdrew it. A second suspension in February was allowed to stand."