Chief Justice charged with perverting course of justice
MEDIA RELEASE by POLICE HQ MEDIA UNIT
March 06, 2012
Chief Justice Sir Salamo arrested and charged with perverting course of justice
CHIEF Justice Sir Salamo Injia was today formerly arrested and charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, detained at the Boroko Police Station and later released on his own recognition (OR) bail.
Sir Injia was charged under Section 136 of the PNG Criminal Code Act, Chapter 262. The charge relates to the estates of the Late Justice Timothy Alexander Hinchcliffe.
According to facts before the police, in 2009 a complaint was lodged with the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Squad by the complainant, Timothy Moere SARRI Junior, the adopted son of the Late Justice Timothy Alexander Hinchliffe, alleging that the Chief Justice Sir Salamo, INJIA, the Registrar of the National Court Mr. lan AUGEREA and others, have conspired to pervert the course of justice by circumventing a National Court Order issued by the then National Court Judge Mr. Mark SEVUA, who granted the Probate to the Will of the Late Justice Hinchliffe to the executor Mr. Timothy Moere SARRI Junior, on the 11th of May 2009.
Timothy Moere SARRI Junior alleges that before his adopted father the Late Justice Timothy Hinchliffe died, he signed a Will in his name and as such he engaged Judy Nandape & Associate Lawyers to apply for the Will of Probate in the National Court to have the entitlements of his adopted father the Late Justice Timothy Hinchliffe paid to him.
On the 11th of May 2009 His Honour, the then Justice Mark SEVUA issued the National Court order for the National Judicial Staff Services (NJSS) to pay the Late Judge Hinchliffe's entitlement totalling the sum of K213,069.90 to his adopted son Mr Timothy Moere SARRI Junior the plaintiff in this matter.
Pursuant to the National Court Orders, the NJSS raised a BSP cheque number 646416 Serial No# 54117 dated 19th of June 2009 in the amount of K213,069.90 made payable to Nandape & Associate Lawyers of P.O. Box 7059, Boroko, National Capital District.
It was further alleged that after the said cheque was paid to Nandape and Associate Lawyers as ordered by the National Court, the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia was said to have directed the Registrar of the National Court Mr. lan AUGEREA to recall the cheque from Nandape and Associate Lawyers which he did and the original cheque was cancelled and a new cheque raised in the same amount and paid into the NJSS trust account.
In pursuing the initial Investigations, Superintendent Philip Rambaliku, the then Acting OIC National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Squad raised a Search Warrant intending to conduct a search at the NJSS office to retrieve the original cheque. However his attempts were stayed by the National Court which issued a stay order restraining police not to execute the Search Warrant. As a result the Police initial Investigations were stalled up to now.
Having thoroughly perused the initial investigation file Police are of the view that the actions of the Chief Justice, the Registrar of the National Court and others in circumventing a valid and legitimate Order of the Court, is not only contemptuous but criminal in nature in respect of Section 136 of the PNG Criminal Code Act Chapter 262 for an Attempt to pervert the Course of Justice.
In that regard Police required Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia to come in for a record of interview (ROI).
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia was picked up by Police at 8.00 am today (Tuesday March 06) at the National and Supreme Court premises in Waigani and brought to Police Headquarters at Konedobu for the ROI.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia protested the manner in which he was arrested, and raised issued with the fact that he was not formally written to or invited to come in for the interview. However, that is not a legal requirement and only a courtesy the police extends to elected leaders, senior public servants and people of standing within the society.
Upon completion of the ROI, at about 11am Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia was told of his constitutional rights then formerly arrested and charged for attempting to pervert the course of justice Under Section 136 of the PNG Criminal Code Act, Chapter 262. Sir Injia was taken to the Boroko Police Station in the National Capital District for processing. He was released on official recognition (OR) at 12.30pm from the Boroko Police Station.