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PNG government wants detention case dismissed

Staff Reporter 2/18/2013 | |

PNG wants detention case dismissed
Assylum Seekers on a boat: Image credit: Sky New

 

The government of Papua New Guinea is expected to ask the courts to dismiss a challenge to the Australian-run Manus Island detention centre.
Justice David Canning last week rejected an interim injunction on further transfers, but granted permission to lawyers acting on behalf of Opposition Leader Belden Namah to visit the temporary centre on Lombrum Naval base and interview detainees housed there.
The lawyer acting on behalf of the government, Peter Kuman, will ask the court on Wednesday to dismiss further proceedings.
'That's what will be dealt with tomorrow, to dismiss all the proceedings,' he told AAP.
He said there is no evidence any of the 274 asylum seekers currently on Manus want Mr Namah's lawyer, Loani Henao, to act for them.
'It is a very sensitive issue,' Mr Kuman said.
'It's a regional issue for the Australian and PNG governments, and the last thing we want to do is politicise the issue.'
Comment is being sought from Mr Henao and AAP understands members of his firm visited the centre in the past few days.
Mr Henao had previously said he had been instructed by Mr Namah to ask asylum seekers to join the legal challenge.
In rejecting the interim injunction last week, Justice Canning said both Mr Henao's and Mr Kuman's arguments were impressive and said there were serious questions yet to be tried.
Information available to the court showed detainees had been denied their rights under Section 42 of the PNG constitution.
'They have not been given adequate opportunity to give instructions to a lawyer of their choice in the place which they are detained,' he said.
Hearings will resume at 1030 AEDT on Wednesda
Sky News

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