Supreme Court quashes arrest warrant for PNG's Prime Minister

6:57 pm on 15 December 2017
PNG PM Peter O'Neill

The arrest warrant for Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill was quashed by the Supreme Court. Photo: AFP / Peter Parks

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has quashed an arrest warrant for the prime minister, Peter O'Neill.

The warrant was issued in 2014 by the anti-corruption unit Taskforce Sweep, following an investigation into an allegedly illegal state payment to a private law firm.

That led Mr O'Neill to dissolve Taskforce Sweep - the anti-corruption body he established - and sack the then-police commissioner, Tom Kulunga.

Mr Kulunga was replaced by Geoffrey Vaki, who ruled out pursuing the warrant, but in 2015 was sentenced to prison and hard labour for obstruction.

But in the Supreme Court on Friday, a three-man bench unanimously found the warrant, and the District Court's decision to issue it, defective.

It said the wrong application form was used, the information section was blank, and the word 'independent' was spelled incorrectly.

It set aside the warrant as void and of no legal effect.