The National, Wednesday, May 11, 2011
MONDAY’s scheduled judicial review hearing of Angoram MP and Minister for Public Enterprises Arthur Somare has been rescheduled for today.
The review matter could not be heard on Monday because Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika was on sick leave.
This is not the first time the Somare matter has been deferred.
The matter came before Justice Les Gavara-Nanu, who disqualified himself and was deferred to Monday.
Somare’s matter relates to the Ombudsman Commission referring him to the Public Prosecutors office for further investigations into alleged misconduct.
He is seeking a judicial review.
The Ombudsman Commission referred Somare for alleged misconduct in office in 2006.
The commission alleged Somare failed to acquit his annual statements from July 16, 1998, to July 15, 2001, and that he misapplied K250,000 of his discretionary component of his electorate’s District Support Grant (funds.
The then Chief Ombudsman Ila Geno referred Somare to then Public Prosecutor Chronox Manek, who in August 2006 referred Somare to the Chief Justice.
The CJ then appointed a tribunal headed by Sir Kubulan Los but Somare successfully sought leave to seek a judicial review.
In 2007, the Ombudsman Commission went before the three-bench Supreme Court of justices Gavara-Nanu, Sao Gabi and Greg Lay to appealing against that decision.
But their application for the dismissal of judicial review proceedings was rejected on the grounds the commission had not followed proper procedures when appealing.
Last year, the commission made a second attempt to have the judicial review dismissed “for want of prosecution”, before National Court judge Justice Nicholas Kirriwom, who dismissed that application.