12 Feb 2013

PNG court adjourns Manus island case until tomorrow

2:08 pm on 12 February 2013

A court in Papua New Guinea has adjourned preliminary hearings into the legal status of the Australian-run Manus Island detention centre.

Lawyers for the opposition leader, Belden Namah, are asking PNG's court of human rights for a temporary injunction on asylum seeker transfers to the Manus centre which is holding 274 people.

Justice David Canning said he wanted to deal with the matter as soon as possible and adjourned proceedings until tomorrow.

Mr Namah's lawyer Loani Henao also asked the court's permission to visit the centre and interview detainees after being refused permission by the government.

He says the agreement between Australia and PNG is unconstitutional.

PNG's Attorney General, Kerenga Kua, said earlier the temporary tent facility is not a detention centre but living quarters under the Migration Act.