Court postpones hearing on penalty against ‘defiant’ Solicitor-General

National, Normal

SUBMISSIONS on penalty by lawyers regarding Solicitor-General Neville Devete and the guilty verdict imposed on him last Thursday by the National Court relating to the contempt of court issue against him were yesterday adjourned to next Monday. 
Acting Deputy Solicitor-General Laias Kandi, representing Mr Devete, made submissions seeking an adjournment.
Mr Kandi told the court that his client and their office had not been informed that the decision was being handed down last Thursday.
This resulted in them (himself and Mr Devete being in another courtroom) not being present for the handing down of the decision which pronounced Mr Devete guilty of contempt of court.
Mr Kandi also submitted yesterday to presiding judge, Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, that he only received the decision of the court at midday last Friday.
This, he said, left him with little time to properly prepare to assist the court regarding his submissions on behalf of his client and colleague.
This was despite lengthy objections from the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Camillus Narakobi of Narakobi Lawyers, who submitted to court that he wanted to ensure justice was done for his clients.
He said his clients had waited for four years to see the end of their claim (totalling more than K1.9 million) that went through three separate court decisions ordering the payout.
Mr Narakobi is representing Mathew Moiga on his behalf and as representative of their villages and the 68 Clan Agents/signatories to the 1967 Block 6 Timber Rights Purchase Agreement.
Yesterday, he insisted the court to grant another court order calling on the Solicitor-General to sign the certificate of judgment to release the claimants’ money, the matter of the issue before the courts.