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New developments prompt judge to delay Bando case

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THE Waigani National Court has adjourned a motion filed by the Hela provincial executive council, Governor Francis Potape and acting administrator Kove Waiko seeking to summarily dismiss a case filed by suspended administrator William Bando.
The motion was adjourned from Monday to yesterday for hearing but recent developments to the case have prompted the presiding judge, Justice Leka Nablu to adjourn the motion to Tuesday, for lawyers to prepare properly as the case was of public interest.
A motion filed by Bando seeking interim restraining orders was also adjourned to Tuesday for hearing.
Bando’s lawyer Anthony Waira told the court that after the adjournment on Monday, he filed a cross-motion for the court to hear Bando’s motion together with the motion for the PEC, Potape and Waiko.
Waira said following the filing of his client’s cross-motion, lawyer Philip Ame, representing PEC, Potape and Waiko, filed an amended motion on Wednesday.
Waira asked the court to hear both motions yesterday but Justice Nablu said the case was of public importance and interest, especially to the people of Hela and the lawyers needed to prepare well before addressing the court on their motions.
Waira also asked that a lawyer for the State must be present on Tuesday and address the court on a purported decision from the National Executive Council approving the PEC decision to suspend Bando.
The court issued a direction to the court’s registrar to inform the Office of the Solicitor General about the returning date of the case so that they could send a lawyer from their office to appear on behalf of the State.
Justice Nablu said the State should be given an opportunity to be heard in the motions, especially the motion by the PEC, Potape and Waiko, because they were seeking orders to summarily dismiss the case.
Bando was suspended last month by the PEC on disciplinary grounds.
The court has granted him leave to judicially review the PEC decision.

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