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Court rules arrest warrants defective and declares void

The Waigani District Court ruled that the arrest warrants issued by the District Court against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, the Treasurer Don Polye and Education Minister James Marape were defective.

The court  found that  the arrest warrants were defective because they were issued on form 2, a form specifically applicable to the local court. But parliament has repealed the Local Courts Act and the local court ceased to exist.

Therefore the arrest warrants were declared void. The district court lacked jurisdiction to issue such warrants under the provisions that apply to the local court.

However an application by the Prime Minister’s lawyers to summarily dismiss the entire complaints was refused by the District Court presided over by Lawrence Kangwia on the basis that the investigations were incomplete and the application was premature.

The court also stated that police did not abuse the process in the manner they applied for the warrants, likewise there was no abuse by the presiding magistrate to issue the warrants although defective.

It also ordered that police are at liberty to re-apply for fresh warrants.

PNG Today / Post Courier

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