Salika rejects MP’s Sweep Team claims

Main Stories, National

The National, Monday August 5th, 2013


DEPUTY Chief Justice Gibbs Salika has rejected an argument by a MP facing criminal charges that the Task Force Sweep has no jurisdiction to prosecute him.

Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape was charged by police on Nov 2, 2011, with allegations of misappropriation and defrauding the Government.

He wanted the court to dismiss the charges because he said Task Force Sweep, which investigated the case, had no jurisdiction to prosecute him.

The committal court had recommended that he stand trial in the National Court. 

Salika, in his ruling last Friday, said he did not find any evidence of usurpation of powers and functions by the Task Force Sweep, police or the public prosecutor.  

“To suggest that the Investigation Task Force Sweep is dictating or usurping the role of the police force or the public prosecutor in the performance of their respective functions such as laying of charges and prosecuting the case, is in my opinion, without evidence and the applicant’s fears and apprehensions are misguided and misapprehended,” Salika said.  

Potape had filed an amended notice of motion on May 1 seeking 12 declarations and orders from the National Court. 

Potape had referred the court to a paid advertisement in The National newspaper on November 21 last year titled “Media update on the progress of investigations” by the Task Force Sweep.

Potape said in his affidavit that upon reading that, he formed the conclusion that the functions of the police and public prosecutor had been usurped by an “unauthorised person and/or body”.                                

But Salika said he could not find any word or phrase from that newspaper advertisement to  suggest that Task Force Sweep had usurped the power of the police to investigate, lay charges and prosecute Potape.    

“In my view I see it as a collaborative effort by all government bodies concerned to ensure that the matter is progressed to finality and the public know what is going on,” he said.