Le­gal road­blocks still ham­per­ing PNG fraud cases

Fiji Sun - - World News -

AThe head of the anti-cor­rup­tion in­ves­tiga­tive unit Task­force Sweep, Sam Koim, said the firm’s prin­ci­pal, Paul Paraka, is fac­ing many crim­i­nal charges but has man­aged to stave off con­vic­tion by fil­ing a se­ries of le­gal chal­lenges.

lead­ing Pa­pua New Guinea anti-cor­rup­tion of­fi­cer has dis­missed sug­ges­tions that the Prime Min­is­ter should not be ques­tioned in re­la­tion to a fraud case un­til the “main sus­pect” is con­victed. The Po­lice fraud squad has been prob­ing the prime min­is­ter Peter O’Neill’s role in al­legedly il­le­gal state pay­ments to a law firm, Paraka Lawyers. The squad has sought to ar­rest Mr O’Neill since 2014 how­ever this has been frus­trated by nu­mer­ous le­gal chal­lenges.

The head of the anti-cor­rup­tion in­ves­tiga­tive unit Task­force Sweep, Sam Koim, said the firm’s prin­ci­pal, Paul Paraka, is fac­ing many crim­i­nal charges but has man­aged to stave off con­vic­tion by fil­ing a se­ries of le­gal chal­lenges. Mr Koim said this doesn’t mean Peter O’Neill should not also face the courts. “But that ar­gu­ment does not have sound le­gal ba­sis. Paraka and other co-con­spir­a­tors have to be pros­e­cuted to­gether,” Mr Koim said. “Lawyers in Pa­pua New Guinea have be­come, if you like, in­ge­nious in de­vis­ing all man­ner of ap­pli­ca­tions and putting road­blocks af­ter road­bloacks in be­tween the process, and they are frus­trat­ing it.”

RNZ

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