Court dismisses Kalaut application

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by sidelined Assistant Commissioner of Police Sylvester Kalaut and former senior police officer Fred Yakasa, on the case regarding the position of the Police top post.

The pair were seeking to dismiss an appeal application at the Supreme Court filed by current Police Commissioner David Manning, for want of prosecution.

The decision was handed down on Friday 30th July 2021.

The matter was presided over by Justice Ellenas Batar, Justice Stephen Kassman and Justice Peter Toliken at the Waigani Supreme Court.

Through their lawyer David Doataona, Kalaut and Yakasa argued that since they filed their application on January 26th, the defendant has not progressed their appeal.

Manning is appealing the National Court decision of January 22nd which declared his appointment in 2019 as the Commissioner of Police null and void, as he does not possess any tertiary qualifications.

That decision is being stayed by the Supreme Court pending determination of the appeal.

“The Supreme court said there has not been a great delay but they have listed the matter for the following week, where we will get a date for the appeal. They also allowed us to raise again our substantive argument that with the abolishment of the department of police and office of the Secretary, it has now rendered the appeal”, said lawyer David Dotaona.

Kalaut and Yakasa said they will still raise their arguments when the date is set.

“The appeal is still on foot. My application was simply to ask the court to dismiss it for want of prosecution on the basis that when the application was still on foot there was the abolishment of the Department of Police through gazette issued by the Governor General. For that reason we came to the court. The outcome of this matter does not worry us and we will still turn to the appeal proper and raise those arguments in the appeal proper”, added Kalaut.

Jemimah Sukbat