Supreme Court orders stay on arrest of PNG PM

4:34 pm on 11 August 2017

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has ordered a stay on a police warrant to arrest prime minister Peter O'Neill.

The Supreme Court in Papua New Guinea.

The Supreme Court in Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI/Johnny Blades

This comes after Mr O'Neill's lawyer appealed a National Court decision from earlier this week which dismissed a challenge to the warrant.

Anti-fraud police obtained the warrant in 2014 over alleged illegal state payments to a lawfirm.

A series of legal challenges to the warrant kept the matter tied up in the courts ever since.

After Tuesday's National Court ruling, Mr O'Neill said he would again challenge the warrant, characterising it as a politically motivated stunt.

"It is important to stress that if we did not challenge this matter in court, a dangerous precedent would be set exposing future Prime Ministers and holders of high office to malicious and politically motivated false charges," said Mr O'Neill.

Yesterday, the Police Commissioner Gary Baki said he would examine the case before inviting Mr O'Neill in for an interview.

Following this, the Supreme Court Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia ordered that the lower court's decision and the execution of the warrant be stayed, pending the outcome of the appeal.