I AM writing this letter in regards to both your articles which covered the charges laid against Robin Fleming which was published on Jan 19.
Both articles were generally biased and did not provide a balanced view of the case against both Fleming and John Madison who were acting on the behalf of Bank of South Pacific (BSP).
It is quite evident that the authors of both articles carried out minimal research into the case and as a result wrote a very unbalanced account.
The fact that both men are expatriates should have no bearing on the charges laid against them and crucially, the presumption of their innocence was blatantly disregarded.
Both men are employed by BSP, which is the largest Papua New Guinean financial institution.
As such, they act on behalf of the shareholders.
As employees of BSP, both men as well as all BSP employees are expected to provide banking services and crucially to ensure that all banking activities generate a profit which is in turn distributed to the shareholders.
In relation to this, it is reported in other sources that Mr Peter Yama owes BSP (who bought PNGBC) a sum of money which is in fact greater than the amount which was seized from a payment from MVIL to him, a fact which was conveniently left out of both your articles.
As such, it is the responsibilities of certain employees of BSP to ensure that all debts are recovered from debtors including the interest owing and this is of course carried out following banking policies and practices as well as the law.
BSP in this case has acted within their rights to obtain the disputed K7.6 million which was done so by way of a court order.
Therefore, both Fleming and Madison carried out actions which most if not all shareholders as well as the board would expect them to execute in order to recover what is owed to the bank.
Let us not forget that BSP is not a charitable organisation.
Therefore, if both your publication wishes to imply that BSP may not have followed legal procedures in obtaining this sum of money and that its employees have acted fraudulently then you must provide the facts to support this view point.
As such, by bringing both these men as well as BSP’s name into disrepute without providing stone cold facts to prove this, you are defaming them (and people sue for defamation).
And it must also be said that if these two men were acting as representatives of BSP (as it has been reported) then why are they being “personally” charged for fraud?
This is a civil case and the involvement of the police and the serious reported allegations cast at the two men are highly ludicrous and have no legal standing.
As a newspaper it is not your responsibility to act as the judge and jury but only to provide the facts in a balanced and fair manner.
If you wish to drag people’s and corporation’s names through the mud, then you better have the facts to say so.
If not, then stick to “reporting” and do the research rather than listen to the one source which is feeding you this information.
Concerned citizen, via email
* Editor’s Note: We are a little confused. On Jan 19, we published only one article concerning the arrest of Mr Fleming and Mr Maddison, not two as the author states.
Our article was headlined “Another banker arrested, charged” and by any standard was straight-forward.
It essentially said that Mr Fleming had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to defeat the course of justice.
The article also stated that Mr Fleming was released on bail shortly after his arrest.
Nowhere in the article did we even suggest that Mr Fleming or Mr Maddison were guilty, or for that matter, innocent. We leave that to the courts to decide.
The article also did not imply that BSP had failed to follow procedures in trying to recover what is supposedly owed to it by Mr Yama.
The writer also made several assumptions which baffle us and we can only conclude that he has got us mixed up with the other daily.