Papua New Guinea
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Court restricts media from reporting IPO case against MP

THE Interim Protection Order, hearing against the member for Goroka, Aiye Tambua in the Waigani Family Court will be held in camera, meaning that the media is restricted from attending and reporting the case.

This follows an application by the MPs Lawyer who told the court that the protection of the wife and the daughters in this matter should be of paramount importance, in that the public backlash will be much more detrimental if it is widely reported in both the mainstream and social media.

“The proceedings can be harmful if the case is publicised,” he said.

Sergeant Tinol Pakipon from the Family and Sexual Violence Unit who is representing Tambua’s wife had no objections to the application to restrict the media
“Publicity will not only affect the MP but it will also affect his wife and daughters.”

Magistrate Peter Balos granted the application to have the media restricted from reporting the case. In his ruling he said the media has the right to report cases however, it could be stopped by courts for certain reasons and security was one.

He said according to Sect 37 subsection 12 and 13 of the constitution, the court could stop media from reporting cases for security purposes.

Subsection 12 said: “Except with the agreement of the parties, or by order of the court in the interests of national security, proceedings in any jurisdiction of a court and proceedings for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation before any other authority, including the announcement of the decision of the court or other authority, shall be held in public.

In Subsection 13 it says “Nothing in Subsection (12) prevents a court or other authority from excluding from the hearing of the proceedings before it persons, other than the parties and their legal representatives, to such an extent as the court or other authority.