Sacking smells of politics: Marat
Post Courier, Wednesday 23rd February, 2011 http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20110223/wehome.htm
By TODAGIA KELOLA SACKING of the acting Public Prosecutor Jim Wala Tamate smells of politics infiltrating the independence of the Judicial Legal Services Commission. That’s from former attorney general and Member for Rabaul Dr Allan Marat when commenting on the revocation of Mr Tamate’s acting capacity as the Public Prosecutor. “ I was really downhearted about the sacking of Mr Tamate, of course its not good enough when the reason is just non performance. “Has he done something that amounts to the grounds of his removal. I feel sorry for Mr Tamate.” According to Dr Marat section 178 of the constitution provides clearly for the grounds of a Public Prosecutor to be terminated. And the grounds are basically if he commits misconduct in office or he is mentally retarded at a stage during his tenure then he can be removed. “All these important grounds were never addressed, in the absence of clarity then it smells politics,” he said He also said that Mr Tamate was appointed during his term as attorney general and he found him to be a very hard worker. “He is a hard worker and if he had referred the Prime Minister he would have been working extra hard and the reasons for the revocation of his appointment as stated by Sir Arnold is very shallow,” Dr Marat said.
THE removal of acting Public Prosecutor Jim Wala Tamate has the fingerprints of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare all over it, opposition leader Sir Mekere Morauta said yesterday.
“(Attorney-General and Justice Minister) Sir Arnold Amet’s explanation that the decision to sack Tamate was made by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, based on the incompetence of Tamate, is an insult to the intelligence of Papua New Guineans.
“That explanation is designed to camouflage the real reason from the public,” Sir Mekere said in a statement.
He said the public perception was that Tamate was sacked because he had the guts to refer Sir Michael to the chief justice with a request to establish a leadership tribunal.
“That is the reason for his sacking, pure and simple,” the opposition leader said.
He said many people were surprised by a series of advice that the attorney-general had given to the government so far.
“First, it was apparently Sir Arnold who advised the prime minister on the so-called re-election of Sir Paulias Matane as governor-general without following the process set out under the constitution.
“How could the prime minister forget this when he participated in the election of every single governor-general since independence?
“When that decision was challenged in the Supreme Court by an aggrieved party, it was Sir Arnold, again, who advised the prime minister and government that the court had no power to direct parliament to be recalled or to interfere with the business of parliament.
“The attorney-general, for some reason, forgot to advise the prime minister that the court was interpreting the law.”
Sir Mekere said the court was empowered by the constitution to carry out that role.
“The attorney-general appeared to have conveniently forgotten this basic fact.”
Sir Mekere said many people were beginning to see the attorney-general as a puppet of the prime minister.
“He is being pushed and pulled into positions and postures predetermined by the prime minister.”
As for Tamate, Sir Mekere said the public should salute Tamate for his courageous decision to refer Sir Michael to answer alleged misconduct charges.