THE Supreme Court has allowed Kandep MP Don Polye to serve court documents to the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) in Australia in his challenge on the Government’s decision to acquire a K3 billion UBS loan.
Justice Colin Makail, presiding as a single judge bench, granted leave to Polye on Friday to effect service of court documents to UBS AG Australian branch outside of PNG.
Makail, in his brief ruling, said he was satisfied by the reasons given by Polye’s lawyer Loani Henao that UBS did not have a registered office or agent representing its interests in the country.
The judge said Polye could serve the documents at any of the UBS branches in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Henao moved an application under order 2 Rule 1 of the Supreme Court rules to serve UBS outside of jurisdiction as its offices were not located in PNG.
Henao explained the case did not fall within circumstances of substitutive service provided for under the Supreme Court rules.
He said the substantive proceedings sought the court’s interpretation of section 209 of the Constitution and the Organic Law on the Sovereign Wealth Fund 2012.
According to Henao, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, the National Executive Council, the State and Oil Search were served the necessary documents and granted leave to intervene in the proceedings.
Polye is seeking orders that the executive actions of O’Neill and NEC in borrowing AUD$1.239 billion (K3 billion) from UBS for the purpose of obtaining a 10.01% interest in Oil Search Limited without Parliamentary approval was unconstitutional and illegal.
He argues that the loan (K3 billion) was not budgeted for in the 2014 budget and no Parliamentary approval or appropriation of funds has been made from consolidated revenue to service the loan.
Polye was Treasury Minister when NEC on March 6 approved the K3 billion offshore loan to purchase a equity share in Oil Search Limited.
O’Neill sacked Polye as Treasurer on March 10.
One PNG/ The National