24 May 2012

No basis in PNG drive to arrest judges, says AG

1:39 pm on 24 May 2012

The Attorney General in Papua New Guinea's O'Neill caretaker government says he can't see any legal basis to arrest judges who ruled that the administration is illegal.

Mr O'Neill's deputy, Belden Namah, said the three judges who reinstated Sir Michael Somare as Prime Minister face arrest.

The Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and two other judges were given a deadline by Mr Namah to resign or face arrest for sedition.

However it's understood police have not pursued the matter.

Dr Allan Marat believes Mr Namah's call was an expression of anger at Sir Salamo's refusal to stand down over accusations of bias against the Chief Justice.

"I don't think that that constitutes an offence for which a person can be arrested. I'm not aware of any provision in the constitution or any other law that makes that conduct by judges to be criminal behaviour that they can just be arrested for."

Dr Allan Marat