Ace (Polye’s case to resume)
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Date Posted: Fri, Dec 05 2008, 02:52:26pm
Polye’s case to resume at later date
THE Mt Hagen National Court on Monday afternoon directed that the election petition trial between Kandep MP Don Polye and petitioner Alfred Manase be continued at a later date. The court also directed the parties before close of evidence to submit on whether a ground of the petition had been proven by the petitioner’s evidence and, if not proven, whether the petitioner could still succeed on the remaining grounds of the petition. The court remained concerned that issues that arose at the close of Mr Manase’s case had not been addressed, partly because the foreshadowed “no case” application indicated by the Electoral Commission had not materialised. The court said that before it embarked on the Electoral Commission’s case, which the counsel indicated to call up 23 witnesses, the court told the counsel to address the court on an issues in relation to the ground E1 of the petition, which alleged that eight ballot boxes were excluded from the counting by the district returning officer. Justice Gregory Lay concluded that it was open for a judge on his own motion to raise for argument by the parties, prior to the close of the evidence, the issues of whether an essential ground or grounds for voiding the election had been proven on the evidence adduced by the petitioner, and the consequences, which might flow from a finding that the ground or grounds were not proven. Justice Lay said that his other ground for the issue to be argued was to ensure that counsel had full opportunity to make submissions on behalf of the parties and the court was fully assisted before he made a ruling. He said that the other reason was that the Electoral Commission had earlier submitted that the determination of the issue might determine the whole petition.
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