Court denies MP’s appeal to bar media

National, Normal

The National – Monday, June 27, 2011

KANDRIAN-Gloucester MP Tony Puana’s appeal to the Waigani Committal Court to bar the media from reporting on his misappropriation allegations has been denied.
Puana’s lawyer told the court there had been a misleading report by FM 100 last week in relation to the matter.
He said that not only did the report have misleading information, it also in­volved political motives.
He then asked the court to issue a blanket order to bar the media from reporting any information on the case.
But presiding magistrate Rosie Johnson denied the request.
Johnson said court matters were public in­formation and allowed them to be reported.
However, the magistrate urged the me­dia to be responsible when reporting stories from court.
She said the court used many legal terms and the media should use the terms correctly so that the facts were not distorted.
She said journalists should carry out background research and “produce fair and accurate reporting before it is put out to the public”.
Johnson told Puana’s lawyer she was reluctant to issue the orders to bar the media.
Puana is charged with 40 counts of misappropriation and false pretence.
The matter returns to court on July 7 for a ruling.