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Court application against PNG Speaker of Parliament to be prosecuted
02:31 am GMT+12, 22/12/2020, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Speaker of Parliament, Job Pomat, will be prosecuted and punished for knowingly and deliberately breaching the Constitution.
 
That’s from the opposition leader Belden Namah, who has filed a section 23 application (Sanctions) under the Constitution which is basically seeking the courts to punish those who have undermined and breached the Constitution.
 
In an interview with the Post-Courier, Namah said a five-man Supreme Court bench has unanimously raised questions that arguably amount to the Speaker having breached his constitutional duty.
 
“For the Speaker, to use his conscience that his deputy has breached the Organic Law and to unilaterally recall Parliament, in less than a day’s notice when he knew that most members had left Port Moresby, was a deliberate and flagrant breach of the Constitutional Laws,” he said.
 
“If that was not enough, he again breached the Standing Orders and other parliamentary laws when he deliberately overlooked a Vote of No Confidence Motion properly served on him and allowed the government to pass the 2021 Budget”
 
He said the Supreme Court in a decision in SCCOS, 3 of 2016 has warned of serious consequences, especially individuals charged with administering the business of Parliament and that the courts should consider imposing civil and criminal sanctions under section 23 of the Constitution.
 
“That’s why I have filed this section 23 application to stop future deliberate breaches by Constitutional Office holders.
 
“I intend to ask the courts to impose the maximum penalty, which is 10 years in prison and a K10,000 (US$2,841) fine,” said Namah.
 
This will be the first time for such an application filed under this provision of the Constitution for the court to consider and determine.  
 
On 09 December, 2020, a five-man bench comprising Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, Justices David Cannings, George Manuhu, Derek Hartshorn and Ere Kariko found that on five counts the decisions by the Speaker, or parliamentary procedures adjudicated by him, were unconstitutional.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS


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