PNG Opposition leader Pruaitch case waits for court decision


PORT MORESBY,13 SEPTEMBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – A leadership tribunal in Papua New Guinea dealing with alleged misuse of public grants filed by the Ombudsman Commission against Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch, was adjourned indefinitely on Wednesday.

The three-man bench consisting of Deputy Chief Judge Sir Gibbs Salika and magistrates Regina Sagu and Benjamin Tanewan considered the matter following a decision for an appeal filed by Pruaitch that concerned similar offences pending in the Supreme Court.

The tribunal upheld that the issue of whether it should proceed or not would be determined by the Supreme Court.

“This is because the leader also has an appeal in the Supreme Court and it is only the Supreme Court’s decision of the appeal that can determine this tribunal to proceed,” Justice Sir Gibbs said.

“We also note the public prosecutor is also aware that there is an appeal currently going on in the Supreme Court in relation as to whether this tribunal would have jurisdiction to proceed with the matter.

“However, if the Supreme Court does not allow the tribunal to proceed, then that will end the matter as far as the tribunal is concerned.

“At the moment the tribunal will just have to await the decision of the Supreme Court.”

The allegations brought before the court by the Ombudsman Commission concerned alleged misuse of district support grants in 2002, 2003 and 2004..

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