By REBECCA KUKU
POLICE Minister Bryan Kramer said a lawyer and a district court officer were arrested and charged by the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate yesterday.
The lawyer who had represented former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the court officer were nabbed in connection with the use of a fake warrant of arrest for O’Neill.
“The duo were charged with forgery and attempting to pervert the course of justice,” Kramer told The National in a phone message.
He said the charges were related to allegations that the lawyer had colluded with a court officer to forge a defective warrant of arrest as well as information which O’Neill relied on to obtain a stay order from the National Court on Oct 16.
Earlier, O’Neill, the Ialibu Pangia Member of Parliament, released a press statement announcing that his lawyer had filed a criminal complaint against Kramer, alleging that the minister had forged and falsified the defective warrant against O’Neill.
O’Neill called for Kramer to be criminally investigated and charged with the exact same charges that the lawyer and court officer were facing.
Kramer said: “O’Neill’s claims were false and misleading. Firstly, the officer was a member of the CID Boroko police station and not a National Capital District Fraud Squad.
“Secondly, nowhere in his sworn affidavit did he state that the original warrant of arrest issued by the district court was defective.”
Kramer added: “O’Neill’s claims are misconceived and deceitful, the officer had informed the district court that O’Neill and his lawyers had obtained a stay order against the warrant of arrest claiming it was defective.
“Further, the Acting Police Commissioner David Manning tendered a copy of the original copy of warrant of arrest as evidence in the National Court.
“The police legal officer and Solicitor-General relied on the affidavit in the submission to have O’Neill’s case dismissed by the National Court.
“So I appeal to the former prime minister to stop hiding behind press statements and avail himself to the police for interview in the ongoing criminal investigations against him which now includes perjury.”