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Staff Reporter 1/16/2014 | | |
Task Force Sweep Chairman. Sam Koim
Task Force Sweep Chairman, Sam Koim says, they will pursue any fresh evidence against the Prime Minister, apart from a letter from him allegedly authorizing millions of Kina in payment to Paul Paraka lawyers.

Mr. Koim said this, when announcing, that their investigations found nothing substantial to make a stronger case against Mr. Peter O'Neill, regarding the alleged letter, dated January 24, 2012, bearing his signature.

He says the letter did not originate from the Prime Minister's Office, nor was it communicated through the official channels of government directing payment.

Mr. Koim says, while his Task Force Sweep Team has no power to clear O'Neill, the alleged letter is not enough to make a case against him.

According to findings in the on-going investigation, Treasurer, Don Polye and Finance Minister, James Marape, appear to make reference to the alleged letter, but neither one has written to the Prime Minister to verify the authenticity of that letter.

It's found, that the two ministers assumed the role of the bureaucracy and actively pursued the settlement of the purported outstanding legal bills and took the alleged letter, as an added reason for the payments.

Mr. Koim says there is an abundance of evidence that public officials at the Departments of Finance and Treasury, including politicians acted together and made the illegal payout.

Evidence have shown that these officials willingly failed in their duties to allow the bills to be properly checked by the Department of Justice and Attorney General, despite many requests.

Koim says the State is now responsible of building a strong case to prove beyond doubt that these officers worked on their own, rather than being directed by the letter by the Prime Minister.

He says Task Force Sweep's aim is to secure conviction, and not just arresting people, adding that an arrest can only be made when there is a strong case, supported by overwhelming evidence.

Meantime, Opposition Leader, Belden Namah says neither Task Force Sweep nor anyone else, apart from a constituted Court of Law, can determine evidence, on whether the Prime Minister wrote the directive letter of January 24, 2012 and clear him.

He said the public need to ask how two ministers acted on a directive bearing the Prime Minister's signature are now accused of conspiring without the PM's knowledge to defraud the state.

Mr. Namah also said that he wants all Trade Unions, public servants, politicians on both sides of the house, churches and Anti-corruption organizations including Transparency International and the general public to seize the issue and call on the Prime Minister to resign immediately, because he has used his position as Police Minister to meddled in the police investigations.

He said his two counsels which include Alois Jerewai of Jerewai Lawyers and Ambassador Peter Donigi are studying this decision, and will be challenging it in court soon.

But Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill says Belden Namah must act like a leader of Opposition that respects the rule of law, adding he cannot propose arrests with now clearly established forged documents, that did not originate from his office.

Mr. O'Neill in a statement says, it's now clear and they have to establish who is responsible for forging the documents.

He states, Namah must allow police and other agencies of law to do their job without his constant threat, intimidation and coercion, which is very destructive to P-N-G.

The Prime Minister says, Task Force Sweep has shown to the nation, that their operations are conducted professionally.


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