TAFEA Election Petition Conference Advances

Pictured are Counsel Daniel Yahwa (front), MP Edward Nalyal and his lawyer at the back and representatives of the Customs department after yesterday's conference. Photo: Terence Malapa

The second conference of the election petition between former Member of Parliament (MP) Tomker Netvunei and MP Edward Nalyal has been heard by the Supreme Court yesterday morning.

The Applicant, Tomker Netvunei represented by counsel Daniel Yahwa and the first respondent, MP Edward Nalyal represented by Nigel Morrison and the third respondent, the Department of Customs represented by the State Law Office.

Mr Netvunei filed the petition and providing statements allegedly proving that the second respondent has an outstanding payment within the Customs department but was declared as an eligible candidate to contest the 2020 General election by the Electoral Commission. 

Yesterday, the second respondent’s lawyer, Mr Morrison filed an application to struck out the "disclosure information" in line with the following section of the Customs Act; 8) Disclosure of protected information: A customs officer or an authorised person must not disclose to any person any protected information except as authorised under section 9. 9) Authority to disclose information (1) The Director may in writing, authorise disclosure of information or a class of information for any permissible purpose to: (a) any Government Department: or (b) any agency of a foreign government; or (c) any regional or international organisation. (2) An authorisation approved under subsection (1) is to specify the manner in which or the conditions by which the disclosure is to be made and the Director is satisfied that: (a) the Government Department; or (b) the agency of a foreign government; or (c) the international organisation, will not use or further disclose such information or class of information except for the purposes for which the disclosure is authorised.

Counsel Yahwa for the first respondent told Daily Post after the court that his client has applied for the Right of Information Act to obtain the information within the Customs Department, on the alleged outstanding.

An email from the Director of Customs, Harold Tarosa to the Electoral Principal Officer, Joe Iati that the list provided are all cleared and have no outstanding was also provided as evidence in court.

Justice Oliver Saksak will deliver a decision on whether there is a case to proceed with or not next week.

 

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