Probe to take time


AN investigation into the conduct of two lawyers whose comments on money laundering involving PNG citizens were aired on an Australian television station last year is yet to be completed.
PNG Law Society president Peter Kuman said the investigation into lawyers Greg Sheppard and Harvey Maladina, of the law firm Young and Williams, was being carried out by a Lawyers Statutory Committee.
He said the committee was yet to submit its report.
Committee secretary Gilbert Maki said the cases regarding Sheppard and Maladina were being treated separately.
“We are yet to deal with them. It’s something that takes time,” he said.
“We operate like a commission of inquiry. So more or less, we are following commission of inquiry guidelines.”
Maki said since the case first came up (in June, 2015), nothing was done because no complaint was lodged.
He said the PNG Law Society was the first to register a complaint against the two lawyers.
Sheppard and Maladina made headlines in Australia and PNG when they were covertly filmed by an undercover investigator allegedly advising ways to transfer funds overseas to bribe politicians in PNG.
The allegations were aired on a SBS Dateline television programme.
The PNG Law Society took the matter very seriously and started investigations. It stated then that the footage aired by SBS was “explicit and graphic” and that appropriate authorities would have to investigate the law firm of Young and Williams.
Kuman told The National last Thursday that he was awaiting the release of the report by the Lawyers Statutory Committee.
“The matter is with them,” he said.
Kuman said the law society was separate from the committee – and was made up mostly of lay persons with the chairman being appointed by the chief justice.
Maki said the committee would give an update on the cases.
After the footage was aired, Sheppard and Maladina denied any wrongdoing.

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