Parties warned of contempt of court

National, Normal

THE Supreme Court last Friday warned parties in proceedings in court and media outlets against publishing and commenting on matters, that were sub judice and were currently before the court.
Justice Bernard Sakora, speaking on behalf of a Supreme Court bench, which included Justices Panuel Mogish and David Cannings said those who did so would face being hauled up for contempt of court.
He issued the warning while handing down their decision relating to the case of Finance secretary Gabriel Yer and businessman Peter Yama.
“We express our concern that in the period of less than two months since this appeal, there have been a number of statements in the media that concern the subject matter and the appeal.”
He said: “Some of these statements have been reported to be made by persons who are parties to this proceeding.
“We feel it necessary to warn everyone concerned of the need not to make unnecessary public comments on issues that are before the courts.
“If such comments are made in a careless or ill- considered way, the person making the statement and the media organisation which publishes the statement runs a risk of being in contempt of court.
“Lawyers have the duty to advise their clients on this matter,” Justice Sakora said .
 “The place of litigating disputes is in the courtroom, not in the pages of the newspapers.”