24 May 2012

PNG's O'Neill group files challenge against supreme court judges

11:06 am on 24 May 2012

The Peter O'Neill administration in Papua New Guinea has filed a challenge application in court against the supreme court judges who ruled his government was illegal.

Three of the five judges on the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Sir Michael Somare was illegally removed from office by the rival Peter O'Neill faction last August.

The rulings were made by the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and justices Les Gavera-Nanu and Nicholas Kirriwom.

Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika and Justice Bernard Sakora abstained.

The court application by the O'Neill administration argues that the recent rulings should be set aside because of the inability of the other two judges to exercise their judicial functions.

It also says the two judges were unable to exercise their judicial functions because members of the supreme court bench had been affected by judicial bias; members of the court had brought the integrity of the supreme court into question; and the supreme court bench had been compromised.