4 Nov 2011

Contempt of court charge urged against PNG's Amet

5:12 pm on 4 November 2011

The Papua New Guinea attorney general, Dr Allan Marat, says a former chief justice and now opposition MP, Sir Arnold Amet, should be charged with contempt of court.

Dr Marat says he was dismayed at Sir Arnold's claims that the O'Neill government is pushing to remove the Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, and other members of the judiciary from office.

The Attorney General says the claims are baseless.

He says the government considers Sir Arnold's claim a ploy to influence the deliberations by the judges on the Supreme Court reference challenging the O'Neill government's assumption of power on August the 2nd.

Dr Marat says Sir Arnold should be cited for contempt.

"Because when we look at the outcome, when we are thinking of the outcome of the Supreme Court reference, it is now at stake. And whatever the outcome is, will definitely affect public perception of the concept of justice as administered by the Supreme and National Courts in Papua New Guinea. This is our concern."

Sir Arnold Amet says he'd encourage the Attorney General to bring contempt charges so all the issues could be aired in open court.

He also says he stands by his comments and says it's important for him, as a former chief justice, to bring the government's plans to the public's notice.

I do not resile from the veracity of the statement I made. It is very precise. It has been confirmed to me from very reliable sources at the highest official level that discussions were held about this possibility. That is the danger, that discussions were held at official levels in government.

Sir Arnold Amet