4 Apr 2012

PNG judge Kerriwom refuses to stay clear of constitutional cases

4:40 am on 4 April 2012

A Papua New Guinea judge Nicholas Kerriwom has refused to remove himself from constitutional hearings into the legitimacy of the government amid allegations of bias.

AAP reports that Justice Kerriwom has told the court in Port Moresby he saw no reason to step down after a memo bearing his signature and calling on judges to band together against attacks from the government was leaked.

Hearings into whether the O'Neill government's decisions since it controversially took office on August were legal were supposed to begin on Monday, but the lawyer for the Attorney General Dr Allan Marat yesterday applied to have Justice Kerriwom removed.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will decide this morning on the application to disqualify Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia from constitutional references over alleged bias.

Sir Salamo was arrested last month on charges of trying to pervert the course of a police investigation into his handling of court funds.

The court quickly issued a permanent stay on proceedings.