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The National refuses to publish distinguished jurist’s statement

Amet_Sir ArnoldSIR ARNOLD AMET | Former PNG Chief Justice

THIS is a statement I forwarded to The National two weeks ago but, as you can see, it is provocative and it was not published.

The Hon Ano Pala should resign as a Minister for Justice and Attorney General because he has been arrested and charged with serious criminal offences of conspiracy and attempting to pervert the cause of justice.

As a lawyer, Minister for Justice and Attorney General and the principal legal advisor to government he has an obligation to preserve and protect the integrity of these high offices.

This is an ethical and moral duty and obligation to protect the integrity of these two high offices of a minister and attorney general. This has nothing to do with his right to presumption of innocence.

To continue to contend that he will only resign if he is found guilty misses the point. He cannot continue to discharge the duties of this office whilst he has this cloud hanging over his integrity. He will have conflicts of interest in many instances.

In fact by insisting on holding on to these offices, he is ‘demeaning the integrity of the high offices of a Minister and Attorney General and his personal integrity as a leader,’ under the leadership code as well.

The allegations are serious and the fact that he has been charged is also sufficient grounds for the Prime Minister to decommission him as a Minister.

For the Prime Minister to say that Mr. Pala is entitled to continue in office as a Minister and Attorney General until a court finds him guilty is wrong. The Prime Minister has a duty to preserve and protect the integrity of these offices by decommissioning Mr. Pala. These are also basic conventional practices of integrity and good governance.

To continue to insist on hanging onto office in these circumstances is tantamount to corrupt practice.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill also should step down from office and voluntarily submit to the due process of the rule of law by being interviewed by fraud squad offices.

He and the office of Prime Minister is not above the law. He cannot continue to contend that the evidence to support the issue of the warrant of arrest is not credible and that fraud squad investigators are rogues and therefore he is not prepared to demean the integrity of the high office of prime minister.

All of these are mischievous and miss the point and are design to mislead the people of PNG and the wider public at large. He must know that he is not fooling the international development partners by this ‘circus’ of trying to frustrate the due process of the rule of law.

Whether the evidence is credible is a matter for the court of law. One court at least considered it to be credible ‘prima facie’ to have issued a warrant of arrest, so it is not to the point for the Prime Minister to keep misleading the public.

The office of Prime Minister is not above the law. He must simply submit to the due process of law and allow the system of justice to determine if in fact he is guilty or innocent.

In fact by continuing to use the court system and other senior institutions of the state to frustrate and avoid submitting to the basic due process of the rule of law that every other citizen of this country, including senior judges and ministers and lawyers the Prime Minister is ‘demeaning the integrity of the office of Prime Minister and his personal integrity as a leader’ under the leadership code.

Again, I join other senior leaders and statesmen such as Grand Chief Rt Hon Sir Michael Somare, Rt Hon Sir Mekere Morauta and other ordinary citizens of this country and call on and urge the Prime Minister to respect the people of this country, the institutions that uphold the rule of law and submit to the due process of the rule of law. Senior leaders must be the first to submit to the rule of law and lead by example.

Also to continue to insist on holding onto office in these circumstances is tantamount to corruption.

The Commissioner of Police Gari Baki should refrain from purporting to exercise powers of the office of the commissioner for police until the courts of law determine the serious charges that the offices of the fraud squad officers have laid against senior leaders.

He should get good competent legal advice and not knee jerk react because he runs the risk of being charged with contempt and perverting the cause of justice. Two former commissioners of police have already been so found guilty of contempt by the courts.

It all seems so obvious to reasonable Papua New Guineans that the police commissioner Gari Baki is determined to ensure that the fraud squad officers do not continue to investigate, charge and prosecute senior leaders in government.

Again, it is worth repeating that no individual is above the law, whatever public office one may hold, whether it be Prime Minister, Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Senior Judge or Police Commissioner or a senior private lawyer.

I believe the public at large would like to see the offices of the law enforcement agencies and institutions doing their job faithfully and diligently without fear or favor and bring to justice all implicated in breaches and violation of the rule of law. They should not be interfered with for corrupt and ulterior motives in the guise of administrative processes.


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Michael Dom

Thanks, Marcus, for your wise words of caution.

Rather, it's often an unpleasant job that needs to be done, but we need to be ready to step into the gutter to clean out the filth so that the waste can drain off from the thoroughfares of our society.

Like pig keeping, the rewards are worth the effort.

In this case the waste has risen up to our footpath level and I am merely sweeping it out of the way.

William Dunlop

Ah, Peter shall I say the literal translation will suffice.Yes

Marcus Mapen

Michael, if I were you I wouldn’t bring myself down to her level.

Peter Warwick

William D, did you mean "annus horribilis" to mean "horrible year", or perhaps another spelling.

Michael Dom

Hey Paul you've stolen my thunder.

Here's comes the lightening.

Ms Merrell has started a row
On how to impregnate a sow
But what she feeds on Echo
Is not fit for a cow
Oh Susan, you've come and you'll go

PaUL Oates

Hey Michael,

how's this for cadence?

Well may you say ‘Crap’, I think,
For your comments do certainly stink,
The People say ‘Go!’
But your boss says ‘No!’
And the country continues to sink.

Michael Dom

I knew it, she want me badly. Sorry I don't offer my services to whales.

Ed Brumby

Oh, Ms Merrell, verbal abuse, especially of the personal kind is so unbecoming ... and so unproductive. Why not ditch your diatribe, muster your mettle and engage with us instead of demeaning yourself with insult.

We might even learn something from you ......

harry topham

Me thinks there is something mischievous going on here?
The latest rather crass and banal retorts by Susan Merrel hardly reflect well on her credibility as a seasoned and experienced journalist as well as reflecting badly contra to her obvious intellect befitting her extensive academic qualifications

Perhaps her new role as a PR expert is more that as Port Colonist as referred to in earlier postings to this site.
Or it could be that Susan is merely gathering information for the inevitable book release perhaps tiled “ The Peter O’Neil Saga- The inside story”

William Dunlop

Methinks annus horribilis suits Merrell and that of her elk.
No KJ, I haven't misspelt ilk, I just can't insult my clan
ancestry. Dunlop of that ilk.

Peter Kranz

Susan Merrell has now shown she is beneath contempt. Is this the kind of person who works for Peter O'Neill?

Block her Keith.

Ms Merrell's comments, while colourful and strong, have not crossed our line of acceptability. As regular readers know, we like to give contributors and commenters considerable leeway. We have also received a number of scurrilous observations about Ms Merrell. Their authors should understand these will not be published - KJ

Lindsay F Bond

Saucily she says, but the Amet allegation still stands.

Marcus Mapen

Oh my God! What kind of language is that and what kind of people can speak like that?

Michael Dom

A limerick:

There was a lawyer disguised as a Shepherd
Whose behaviour was that of a Leopard
He was spotted playing dribs and drabs
With links to fat pollies and hags
"bearded like the pard", said the immortal bard.

Michael Dom

Breakfast for Tiffany was not what she expected
She got off at Jackson's and soon she was accosted
She went in for questioning without a single word
And still defends the PM, how absurd?

Michael Dom

A clerihew for Su:

There once was a lady called Susan
Who came to Moresby for more than a sun tan
She claimed knowledge of all things political
But her propaganda was truly abysmal

And a limerick too:

Beware of the feisty Ms Merrell
Her behaviour can be really feral
An attack on O’Neill
And you’re liable to feel
Her teeth ripping your tender apparel

Peter Kranz

Michael - I prefer sticking with "Ms Merrell" as it seems to piss her off. And you can add Tiffany Twivey to the previous list of co-opted O'Neill acolytes. And I'm happy with 'the sausage man'. Kranskys are great! Better than your piffling chipolates, cabanossi and chorizos.

Michael Dom

"She is organised, she is knowledgeable and she is thorough. In short, she’s a legal expert and an effective one."

She's also been arrested by the Police Fraud Squad. So she knows life on the other side of the interview table - good experience for providing advice to her clients.


(Or perhaps that's why...?)

Hey Peter, now that Susan Merrell has mentioned our 'odd balls' and arses does that mean we're on intimate terms and can legitimately call her by her first name?

Peter Kranz

Funny the connections you come across in high places. Susan Merrell, Sonja Barry Ramoi, Greg Shepherd and Noel Anjo were previously at odds over PNG News and Belden Namah.

Sonja was going to write his biography/hagiography while Susan busy was attacking him.

Now all is quiet on the northern front. It seems they have been corralled into the O'Neill camp (apart from Noel, who is still trying to make a name for himself as a 'student activist' despite being old enough to be most current students father).

He's one of the rent-a-crowd mob who usually turn up a students rallies in PNG and I know him of old.

Once Susan even published an article complaining about Abuse on Social Media. What comes around goes around, eh Susan?

Michael Dom

Hey Keith, are you sure you didn't edit in the Period after Arseholes?

I'm sure we're not reading Susan's statement in it's correct context.

Peter Kranz

Keith - you old bounder! You're working on the 'give her enough rope to hang herself' tactic. And it's worked.

Peter Kranz

William - you're on to it. Perhaps more appropriately it should be Winnegan's Fake! The punch line of a great satirical SciFi short story by Philip José Farmer called Riders of the Purple Wage.

William Dunlop

Would she by any chance be a descendent of Morrell's marauders. Or perhaps demented by one of my previous suggestions, she indulged herself in Finnegans Wake for enlightenment.

Marcus Mapen

If I can decipher correctly, the issue here is with the Prime Minister and the Justice Minister who are becoming like fools in the eyes of the people and the world every week. It’s not about Sir Arnold Amet and what he wants to do with his life.

Peter Kranz

I think Ms Merrell needs to be reminded of PNG Attitude's comments policy.

"Abusive language, racist remarks and other words designed to hurt, generate excessive conflict or cause unreasonable offence to other people are not tolerated".

Michael Dom

Fools and odd balls, ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!

That's so true!

Thanks Susan, were not about to deny that.

What an honour for PNG Attitude to be recognised so clearly for the absence of the antithesis arch nemesis - 'predatory elite' and mediocre humanity.

Except of course when Susan graces our presence.

Marcus Mapen

So Susan, what is wrong with making another attempt at politics in 2017?

Ed Brumby

I was disappointed, but hardly surprised that Ms Merrell did not take the opportunity to offer a point-by-point rebuttal of the former Chief Justice's article. As it is, her infantile, immature response belies her lack of respect if not her contempt for Sir Arnold - and for PNG Attitude and its readers.

It would be more worthy of Ms Merrell if she were to offer a more considered, mature response so that we can endeavour to see the world as she sees it .....

Michael Dom

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...Keith, you really do know how to entertain even while sharing the news.

Thanks for Susan Merrell's message, I was beginning to think she no longer cared about us.

One things for sure, PNG really has welcomed the best and worst of Australians over a long a varied relationship.

Today we observe young women, daughters of PNG, rise to the occasion at the UPNG.

Today we read a snide comment from a foreign woman who is a guest of the very person who has sent police to intimidate those proud PNG daughters.

The day has been uniquely edifying - and I haven't yet had my afternoon beer buzz.

Mathias Kin

Peter O'Steal and those in government control the media too. The Post Courier, the National and the national television network EMTV and NBC Kundu TV are all controlled by the government. We have now in PNG a totalitarian government, a tyrant. PNG wake up before it is too late!

David  Gonol

Straight to the point, Sir Ament. Hope those who are in power submit to the law.

William Dunlop

This article from Sir Arnold Amet rejected by The National newspaper just goes to show the extent that its editors and owners are prepared to condone corruption in the state of Papua New Guinea.

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