State lawyers fail to dismiss case of contempt

National, Normal

The National- Wednesday, January 26, 2011


AN application by lawyers acting for the state, the Solicitor-General and staff of the Finance Department to dismiss a case of contempt naming them as contemnors, has been denied by the National Court.

The application was dismissed by Justice Bernard Sakora on the grounds that it was trying to hijack court proceedings and intended to challenge a case naming the defendants for non-compliance to a court order.

The application was also dismissed because the matter was in relation to contempt, which was different from a criminal case, meaning an order made by the court was not being complied with those brought to court.

The plaintiff and former member for Kagua-Erave Daniel Tulapi had taken the state,  the Solicitor-General Neville Devete, finance secretary Gabriel Yer and a female officer for not complying with a court order to have him (Tulapi) paid an outstanding interest in his claims that resulted from a previous District Court order and decision.

The District Court order number four from a decision made on July 18, 2003, was not being adhered to instead various appeals for judicial review were made by the state and the contemnors for the National Court to hear the matter again.

During the hearing yesterday, there were instances in court where the state lawyer objected to certain points raised by Tulapi for the court to hear in relation to the three contemnors.

However, Sakora advised him that it was inappropriate to do that because it gave the impression that the lawyer for the three contemnors was piggy backing on the state lawyer to do that for him.   

The hearing will continue today, with a decision expected to follow suit.