Papua New Guinea
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Media banned from reporting Tambua’s Case

The Waigani Committal Court in Port Moresby today banned media from reporting the sexual abuse case against Goroka MP Aiye Tambua.

Magistrate Peter Balos issued a media ban after concerns were raised by both the defendant and complainant’s counsels regarding the sensitivity of the case stating it is a ‘family matter’ and not a ‘public matter’.

Tambua’s counsel, Myron Ipape said the girls who are minors (aged 2 &12) and their mother are still under the protection of the defendant who is their father.

“I am more reliant on the material that provides for the private lives of persons concerned in the proceedings. These proceedings are in the power of the family court, it is a matter between individuals, and therefore the particular provision is applicable to proceedings made in harms to the public,” Ipape said.

He said the media has publicized this case and is cautious of the negative implications it may have on his client’s children.

“This has led to certain negative impacts, especially on the concerns towards his children, his wife, especially his daughter studying overseas,” he said.

Magistrate Balos said while the media has the right to publish court cases, parts of Section 27 of the Constitution gives the right to public office holders to ensure their spouse, their children and others under their care do not conduct themselves in a way that will give rise to doubt in the public mind.

Relying on this law, Balos banned the media from covering the entire proceedings.

Balos adjourned the case to 3 October 2023 for mention.