28 May 2012

Second senior PNG judge to face sedition charge

7:41 pm on 28 May 2012

Papua New Guinea police have confirmed that they arrested Supreme Court judge, Justice Nicholas Kirriwom, and charged him with sedition.

Justice Kirriwom was one of three judges who last week stood by an earlier ruling that Sir Michael Somare had been illegally removed from office by the rival Peter O'Neill faction last August.

Last Thursday, the Deputy Prime Minister in the O'Neill Government, Belden Namah, marched into the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia's court room with a squad of police and soldiers and tried to arrest him on sedition charges.

A standoff ensued with Sir Salamo barricaded in his chambers within the court building.

But he was later arrested and has been charged with sedition.

His case has been adjourned until July.

Police say they asked Justice Kirriwom to make himself available for interview today.

They say he did so and was very co-operative with an interview lasting less than an hour.

He has been released on his own recognisance.