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Government wants to lift Finance inquiry ban

BY JULIA DAIA BORE

THE NATIONAL Court has been asked to lift the ban placed on the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance and Treasury.

Since the inquiry report was tabled in Parliament in March, a judge had placed a ban on its publication and the implementation of its recommendations.

Justice Bernard Sakora issued the ban while granting leave for a judicial review following an urgent application by former solicitor-general Zachery Gelu and lawyer Paul Paraka.

Appearing for the State before Justice Mark Sevua, Scholastica Nepel of Jerowai Lawyers argued that the interim injunction stopping further dealings of the final inquiry report was “an encroachment” by the judiciary into the role of the executive arm of the government which had instituted the Commission of Inquiry into the Finance Department.

Ms Nepel said the Prime Minister presented the report in Parliament on 4 March 2010, and this was to be followed by the implementation of the recommendations.

She said there were irregularities in the orders granted by Justice Sakora, and they should be set aside.

In response, lawyers for Paraka and Gelu submitted that there was an urgency which prompted their client to seek the interim injunction.


They said there had been an intention to publish excerpts of the final report in a Sunday newspaper, which prompted them to take urgent action on 6 March before Justice Sakora on circuit in Alotau.

Source: PNG Exposed

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Paul Oates

The world of cyberspace is one some leaders would like to do without. That is, if they are fully aware of what it holds.

When a judge previously asked why there wasn't a copy of the Moti Report available, many said, ‘Just have a look on the web!’.

Now it seems everyone but the courts knows that all you have to do to read the report is Google it and have a good look.

So what use is an injunction if everyone knows what is in the Report? The only reason for a delay seems to be to allow the possible perpetrators to get as much time as they like to obfuscate and muddy the waters and make off with their ill gotten gains?

The PNG judiciary need to take a firm hand on this imbroglio, break the log jam and get on with a full and frank examimation of the Report’s recommendations ASAP.

Mind you, wouldn’t that be a wonderful distraction from any other pending legal action on other matters? Gosh! It’s a good thing I’ve not become a tad cynical.

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