The National Court today adjourned the matter between the PM and Police hearing an urgent application to stay (prevent) his arrest by Police. In a twist from yesterday’s proceedings the Acting Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki acting on instructions from the new Attorney General (AG) Ano Pala to sideline the Police Lawyer Nicholas Miviri and appoint a private lawyer Paul Mawa. The new Acting Commissioner and Attorney General appointments were gazetted last night giving them powers to act in office.
The first order of business was to sideline the Police Lawyer Nicholas Miviri from representing Police and engage Paul Mawa in his place to adjourn the hearing.
When court resumed this morning at 9:30am Paul Mawa made an appearance claiming to act on the behalf of the State. Both the judge and Police Lawyer were confused over who was representing who. Nicholas Miviri claimed he knew nothing of his removal and objected to Paul Mawa’s as his replacement. The Court confused, Mawa and PM’s lawyer Tiffany Twivey-Nongorr, asked the court for short adjournment until the representation is sorted out. The judge adjourned the matter for parties to sort out who had standing to represent the Police. Parties returned Miviri and Mawa said there was still no agreement.
In the end the Court ruled in favour of Mawa because his appointment was endorsed by the proper authority being the new AG and Acting Commissioner. Mawa then sought an adjournment, requiring time to study the case before he could make a proper submission before the court.
The Court agreed to the adjournment ordering parties to return next week Wednesday 25th June 2014. Parties will return to court and make their submissions on the PM’s Stay Application.
The Court has not ruled on the Application. The matter is yet to be heard so there is no victory as claimed by other media outlets. The twist in all this is Paul Mawa was assisting Tiffany Nonggorr the PM’s lawyer that rushed to the Court House on Monday evening seeking a urgent stay order for the PM and now is representing the Police against the Stay Order. He was appointed by the Acting Police Commissioner who as acting on instruction of the new Attorney General who were both appointed by the PM??
For the readers information this an urgent Application for Stay Order to prevent the PM’s arrest. Irrespective whether the police are represented or not the Court will rule on the Application’s merit and whether the Law allows the Court powers to prevent a person being arrested by Police. Paul Paraka filed a similar stay application preventing police from arresting him in relation to the K71.8m payments to his firm. The court ruled against his application on the basis the arrest warrants were in order and Court has no powers to interfere with Police Constitutional duties. The judge raised this point in yesterday’s hearing.