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PNG Court Rejects Opposition’s Manus Injunction Bid
Judge rules injunction would hamper agreement

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 14, 2013) – Papua New Guinea's National Court has rejected an application to prevent more asylum seekers being sent to Australia's processing centre on Manus Island.

PNG's Opposition leader Belden Namah is challenging the constitutionality of the processing centre and sought an interim injunction preventing any more transfers until the case is heard.

But Justice David Cannings has rejected the application.

He says the case does involve serious issues but there are questions over the court's jurisdiction to deal with constitutional matters.

Justice Cannings says an injunction would inconvenience the PNG Government and impair its ability to fulfill the agreement with the Australian Government to operate the centre.

However, Justice Cannings has granted an application allowing Mr. Namah's lawyers access to the processing centre to talk to asylum seekers and provide legal advice if they wanted.

Mr. Namah says the detention of asylum seekers breaches the guarantee of personal liberty enshrined in the constitution.

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