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Thursday, September 07, 2006

SI High Court dismisses Attorney General challenge

The High Court has dismissed an attempt by the Attorney General to quash two terms of reference of the Commission of Inquiry into the April riots.

The Attorney General had sought the order on the grounds that the two clauses would amount to contempt of court.

But after considering material put before him by Solicitor General Nathan Moshinsky, Justice John Brown ruled there was no apparent threatened contempt.

He said the terms of reference reflected the values and aspirations of the people for openness and transparency in the conduct of parliamentary members.

He said the Attorney General had the right to bring the proceedings to court because his powers were unfettered in that regard.

Justice Brown said the Attorney General should not be criticised for seeking to exercise his right to have the court adjudicate upon an issue which could only be decided by the court.

The two terms of reference refer to the arrests and continued detention in custody of two Honiara MPs for their alleged roles in the riots.

Meanwhile, the Prime Ministers Office has described reaction to the decision as jubilant.

The Chief of of Staff in the Prime Minister Office Judson Leafasia who spoke to SIBC News shortly after the decision was handed down said they welcomed the decision.

Source: SIBC

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