Awesa furious over claim

National, Normal
Source:

The National, Wednesday 24th April 2013

 By JEFFREY ELAPA

WORKS Minister Francis Awesa has instructed his lawyers to have former Works secretary Joel Luma and lawyer David Dambali charged for lying under oath.

Awesa said that he was surprised to learn through a news report in The National yesterday that he had relatives in the Judiciary and Legal Services.

“I have no relatives at NJSS and also I don’t even know whom Luma and his lawyers are referring to a senior magistrate at the district court. It is a surprise to me,” he said. 

The minister said he had written to Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga to have the pair charged for lying under oath. 

A copy of the letter was sighted by this newspaper. 

Awesa said that he would also write to the PNG Law Society to deal with Dambali, who is employed by Wantok Legal Group Lawyers.

The newspaper report alleged that Awesa, who had relatives in the Judiciary, were likely to influence the outcome of Luma court case. 

Luma, the former departmental head, faces 51 counts of dishonest application, one count each of conspiracy to defraud, official corruption, abuse of office and false pretence.

“I have no personal vendetta against Luma; he is my brother. It is not a case I have been pursuing,” Awesa said.

He added that the allegations against Luma were an issue backdating to 2010, in which police has been investigating until he was arrested.

“I only become a minister in August 2011 when the government changed and I have no interest in the matter but it is the police who have acted on behalf of the people of PNG that has pursued the matter up until he was charged.”