7 Mar 2012

PNG Chief Justice expected in court today

7:59 am on 7 March 2012

Papua New Guinea's Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, is expected to appear in court today after being charged with trying to obstruct a police investigation into his management of funds.

Sir Salamo was arrested in Port Moresby yesterday afternoon, and released on bail.

The police spokesman, Dominic Kakas, says Sir Salamo has been charged with obstructing a police investigation into his alleged intervention in the handling of a dead judge's estate.

Police allege the chief justice illegally redirected into court coffers US$100,000 meant for the son of the late Justice Timothy Hinchliffe, after a complaint was made in 2009.

The Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill told a news conference yesterday afternoon he was not aware of the arrest and was expecting a briefing.

In December, Sir Salamo presided over the Supreme Court decision that found Prime Minister O'Neill and his supporters did not follow due constitutional process when they dumped former prime minister Sir Michael Somare from the top job.