24 Oct 2014

Interim injuction on contempt proceedings against PNGs PM

2:27 pm on 24 October 2014

The Supreme Court in Papua New Guinea has stayed contempt proceedings against the prime minister and members of his staff.

According to the Post Courier newspaper, the court has also restrained all members of the police force from making any arrest of Peter O'Neill, issue threats or intimidate him.

The same order applies to Mr O'Neill's national security unit members, his staff and his lawyers until further orders of the court.

The orders were sought by the prime minister following a contempt proceeding filed by the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate which alleged that he, the attorney-general, police commissioner, and others have conspired to frustrate the execution of warrant of his arrest.

Yesterday's court decision considered the contempt proceedings unnecessary and pre-mature.

A warrant was issued in June after an investigation alleged that Mr O'Neill had authorised illegal payments to a law firm.

The head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Mathew Damaru, told Radio New Zealand International that the court decision could be a good opportunity for both sides to cool off and maybe find a way forward.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. Photo: Supplied