9 Mar 2012

Concern over PNG judiciary after Injia arrest

6:25 pm on 9 March 2012

A former Papua New Guinea judge, Nemo Yalo, has issued a warning about the reaction of the judiciary to this week's arrest of the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia.

Sir Salamo was arrested over allegations he illegally redirected into court coffers about 100,000 US dollars meant for the son of the late Justice, Timothy Hinchliffe.

Mr Yalo says the manner of Sir Salamo's arrest by heavily armed police has caused deep concern within the judiciary.

He says he can't confirm speculation that judges are about to resign en masse, but that some judges have suspended hearings in protest at the arrest and issued public statements in support of Sir Salamo.

"That sort of position shouldn't be taken, that sort of statement shouldn't come out because imagine if the allegations go through the normal court process and you have the higher court dealing with the issue - which judges are going to deal with the issue? If the judges are going to resign en masse, well I think it will be sad, I don't think it will be a good position to take by the judges in this country."