Tribunal date set for Somare

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The National – Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ANGORAM MP and Minister of Public Enterprises Arthur Somare will face the Leadership Tribunal next Monday.
The tribunal is to decide whether Somare is to continue as an MP pending the tribunal hearing on allegations of misapplication against him.
Much will depend on his submissions before the three-member tribunal headed by Justice Salatiel Lenalia.
The other two members are Principal Magistrate Orim Karapo and Senior Magistrate Noreen Kanasa.
They were appointed in 2006 by the late Chief Justice Sir Mari Kapi.
Lenalia was appointed by Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia three weeks ago following the National Court’s dismissal on June 3 of Somare’s last ditch attempts to have his referral stopped.
He had argued before a Supreme Court panel of judges headed by the Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika that the proceedings should be dismissed.
Salika, however, ruled that Somare’s application had “no merit”.
He added: “The decision to refer, in my respectful opinion, is not unreasonable and capricious in the circumstances and as such, the Ombudsman Commission did not act in excess of its jurisdiction to refer.
“In the end result, all the grounds for judicial review are dismissed as having no merit.”
Following this decision, Sir Salamo said the decision of June 3 effectively paved the way for the new chairman to be appointed and for the stalled tribunal to get under way.