O’NEILL FLEES COUNTRY AS NATIONAL COURT DISMISSES HIS CASE PREVENTING HIS ARREST – Part 2
By Bryan Kramer – 03/11/19.
Yesterday, I published Part 1 providing an insight into the series of events that took place in relation to the Warrant of Arrest obtained by Police on 11th October 2019 against the former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
To recap from Part 1, National Court grants an interim stay (temporary stop order) against Police from effecting O’Neill’s arrest until the matter returns to Court on Monday 21st October 2019.
His lawyers rush to get the orders sealed by Court Registry to serve on Police.
Anticipating that O’Neill would attempt to evade arrest by rushing to Court to obtain a stay, and only once he obtained a stay that he would come out of hiding, Police planned to use that opportunity to lay other charges separate to the warrant.
With this plan in mind, O’Neill is invited to accompany the Assistant Commissioner for Police to Boroko Police Station to personally serve the Court orders on the Deputy Commissioner for Police.
O’Neill is taken into ACP NCD’s office and asked to wait there until the arrival of the Deputy Commissioner. What was unknown to him was that Police were in the next room studying the orders and preparing to lay formal charges that were unrelated to the warrant of arrest.
It is important to note that while Courts may issue a stay against a warrant of arrest, it does not prevent Police from exercising their Constitutional powers to lay any other charges not provided for in the warrant.
However, in the discussion to lay formal charges against O’Neill, there was interference by an officer who vigorously opposed it. He insisted the Court order prohibits Police from arresting O’Neill on any matter.
The lead officer seeks further legal advice on the matter, the advice being that the Court order only relates to the warrant of arrest which O’Neill is claiming is defective.
O’Neill was held for three hours before being released with-out charge.
The next day Police seek the State’s top legal officer, Solicitor General’s advice and he adviced that the previous legal advice was false and misleading, that the stay was specifically in relation to the warrant of arrest.
This gave rise to the question whether certain officers within the Police were deliberately running interference to aid O’Neill from being charged.
During O’Neill’s detention at Boroko Police Station, the actions of certain officers were also being observed; one snuck in to speak to O’Neill not aware that he was being observed. The same officer claimed he was contacted by a Magistrate, who he named, to pass onto advice to investigating officers that they should not charge O’Neill otherwise they risk being held in contempt of court for defying the Court orders. Later enquiries revealed that this was false and misleading.
I’m informed that the officer and his claims of being contacted by the Magistrate are now being looked into.
The next day Police are served copies of the court documents including copies of the evidence O’Neill relied to obtain an interim stay order. After studying the documents, it was uncovered that O’Neill lawyers filed a fake warrant to mislead the Court and made to believe that it was defective. They argued that the Police failed to tick the box as to the reason why it was necessary for a warrant of arrest to be issued, being a breach of Section 8 of the Arrest Act.
So, did Police tick the box?
Short answer is yes.
Police being aware of previous warrants of arrest being declared defective by the Court, made every effort to ensure this would not be repeated in this case.
What was not anticipated was that O’Neill and his lawyers would solicit assistance from the Chief Justice and desperate enough to submit fabricated documents to mislead the Court that the warrant was defective as a means to obtain a stay order.
This also explains why they insisted the Court hear their application exparte, without having to serve the Police knowing too well that Police would produce the original copy of the warrant and expose their deceitful and illegal scheme to pervert the course of justice.
To obtain a warrant of arrest, Police are required to prepare and file Information – usually a one page document in the name of the officer to the Court stating that he believes that there are reasonable grounds for believing a person (naming that person) has committed an offence and providing a brief statement of the allegations, and therefore it is necessary to effect their arrest to answer to the charge. The officer is required to sign the document and once filed, bear the Court stamp.
The officer is also required to provide a sworn affidavit (written statement) providing evidence why they believe the Accused person committed the offence. It is also the practice to submit a statement of summary of facts. A brief which lays out the allegations in greater detail including details provided in the Information sheet as well as the sworn affidavit, so the Court can be clear about the issues and satisfied there are resonable grounds to believe an offence has been committed.
After considering the information, summary of facts and sworn affidavit the District Court Magistrate will grant the Officer a Warrant of Arrest. Court Registry staff will prepare the warrant of arrest based on the courts own produced forms. They will then print the form, tick the appropriate box as required and Magistrate will sign and seal it with Court stamp.
Below is a picture of the warrant issued by the District Court to Police confirming the appropriate box was in fact ticked and the warrant on the left is the fake warrant produced and submitted by O’Neill and his lawyers to mislead the Court. It is important to note the signatures are also cleary different including the font.
This raises the question, how many other similar cases where Courts were misled and even manipulated to defeat justice.
In Part 3 I will provide an insight into why Police decided to withdraw the warrant of arrest even when the warrant submitted by O’Neill was clearly fabricated?
I will also provide full insight into what transpired in Court followed by an in depth analysis into the Judges rulings and lastly what the public can expect to happen now that O’Neill has flown out to Australia.