The National – Tuesday, December 14, 2010
THERE are two sides to a coin and, depending on which side you are on, you will either feel glad or aggrieved.
I am referring to the leadership tribunal cases or rather the lack of it in recent years.
Let us take a look at one of the functions of the public prosecutor’s office.
It is an independent institution set up by an act of parliament and operates as an independent office under the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
It has national government-gazetted state prosecutors who have been bestowed powers to prosecute without fear or favour depending on the nature of the National or Supreme Court case at hand.
In the last 10 years, if I am correct, there were only a handful of leadership tribunal cases that went to the National or Supreme Court and many are still pending referral from the chief ombudsman, public prosecutor or chief justice.
Among some of the more prominent cases which received much publicity but have since then gone quiet before Sir Michael Somare’s case included:
1) Ano Pala;
2) Patrick Pruaitch;
3) Arthur Somare; and
4) Former Madang MP Jacob Wama.
Can the public prosecutor and his senior prosecutors tell the people of PNG why Sir Michael’s case has been given prominence and importance when the other cases, which are older and easier to prosecute, are swept aside?
Was the public prosecutor being pressured from outside?
Some senior state prosecutors are still wondering how the notice of referrals was printed when their computer system was down for the last two weeks, and upon whose advice was Sir Michael’s case being given priority over other more serious leadership tribunal cases.