State ordered to reply to legal queries on USB loan

National

THE Supreme Court has set next month for directions of a reference consisting of 11 constitutional questions for interpretations relating to the Union of Switzerland (UBS) loan.
The court yesterday ordered the State to prepare and file statements in relations to the 11 constitutional questions after the parties appeared for directions hearing yesterday.
Justice Stephen Kassman questioned if the current reference was similar in nature to the three references concerning Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the UBS loan, for which a decision was handed down last Friday by the five-man bench as he (Kassman) was a member of the bench.
Lawyer Virgil Narokobi, representing Ombudsman Commission, said the 11 constitutional questions arose out of an originating summons in the national court and was in relation to the Ombudsman Commissions functions on the UBS loan.
Narokobi said the prime minister took out several proceedings at the national court and the reference by Justice Catherine Davani was a separate matter concerning a separate law and does not involve the public prosecutor or section 27 (4) of the Constitution.
The court had also allowed former chief ombudsman commissioner Rigo Lua, former acting chief ombudsman commissioner Phoebe Sangetari and the State to join as interveners in the reference.

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