4 Feb 2012

PNG Supreme Court moves to halt suspension of Chief Justice

7:14 am on 4 February 2012

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court is reported to have issued a stay order on the rival O'Neill government's suspension of the Chief Justice.

The prime minister Peter O'Neill yesterday announced his cabinet had suspended Sir Salamo Injia to allow for allegations of misconduct in office against him to be heard.

This comes as the Supreme Court is due to rule again on the validity of the O'Neill government.

In December, the court ruled that Mr O'Neill's election as Prime Minister was unconstitutional.

The Attorney General of the rival Somare administration, Sir Arnold Amet, says the Supreme Court is taking similar steps as it did last year when the O'Neill group tried to remove the Chief Justice.

"This court is directing the Registrar to now also charge Peter O'Neill and the full members of his cabinet with contempt because the court is taking the view that this is an attempt to interfere with the course of justice."