Supreme Court to rule on Pala’s case

The National, Thursday July 21st, 2016

The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision tomorrow whether it will set aside a warrant of arrest issued in 2014 for Attorney – General Ano Pala  regarding his charge of conspiracy to defeat the course of justice.
Lawyer Alfred Manase, representing Pala, submitted yesterday that the warrant of arrest was invalid because the facts provided by the police in their summary of facts did not relate to the charge of conspiracy to defeat the course of justice.
Manase told the court, presided by Justices Elenas Batari, Terence Higgins and Don Sawong, that the charge against Pala was related to his alleged actions to conspire with Finance Minister James Marape, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, former Commissioner of Police Geoffrey Vaki and their lawyers to file a proceeding (OS 115 of 2014) at the national court in March 14, 2014, regarding the payments to Paul Paraka Lawyers.
Manase submitted that the National Court proceeding was filed three months before Pala took office on June 17, 2014.
He informed the court that similar allegations of conspiracy were raised against the lawyers acting on behalf of the parties in the National Court proceeding OS 115 of 2014.
The warrant of arrest against Pala was issued by magistrate Cosmas Bidar at the Waigani District Court on July 11, 2014 after it was sought by Detective Chief Supt Mathew Damaru.
Pala filed a judicial review on July 30 last year to review Bidar’s decision to issue the warrant of arrest when he learnt about it.
Justice Collin Makail refused the judicial review application on Aug 30 last year.
The warrant of arrest was executed against Pala on Oct 30 last year in Port Moresby.