Former PM O’Neill’s case adjourned for two months

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IALIBU-Pangia MP and former prime minister Peter O’Neill’s case was adjourned for two months yesterday because a hand-up brief was yet to be completed.
Waigani Committal Court Magistrate Dessie Kaputin Magaru adjourned the case to Sept 10 after Police Prosecutor Sgt John Wamugl and O’Neill’s counsels Greg Sheppard and Phillip Tabuchi agreed to the date.
Sgt Wamugl said the adjournment would allow police to compile and produce the brief.
O’Neill, 55, of Kauwo village in Ialibu-Pangia, Southern Highlands, is charged with misappropriation and official corruption in relation to the purchasing of two diesel generators from Israel in 2013.
He first appeared on June 10 and made his second appearance yesterday.
Police allege that on Dec 4, 2013 O’Neill corruptly and unlawfully directed the procurement of K50million from Treasury to pay LR Group Ltd, a company in Israel, for the two turbine diesel generators.
Police further alleged that O’Neill wrote a letter dated Dec 4, 2013 to acting Treasury secretary Dairi Vele, instructing him to identify K50 million from the 2013 national budget and have it transferred to the Bank of PNG for the procurement and installation of the two turbine generators earmarked for Port Moresby and Lae.
He allegedly stated in the letter that PNG Power Ltd had been consulted and agreed to the deal.
In April 2014, Opposition Leader Belden Namah lodged a complaint to police alleging that O’Neill had pressured Vele to have the K50 million purchase executed.
Namah alleged that O’Neill had failed to consult PNG Power Ltd, the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) of PNG, the National Executive Council and Central Supply and Tenders Board.
It is further alleged that O’Neill then justified the payment by making a submission to Cabinet on March 2014 seeking approval for PNG Power to purchase the two generators for K94 million, without disclosing that K50 million had already been paid to LR Group Ltd.
Cabinet approved the K94 million payment – K50 million was paid on Dec 18, 2013 and K44 million was paid on June 26, 2014.
Then-finance minister James Marape issued and approval under the IPBC Act 2002 and the Public Finance Management Act 1995 for PNG Power to enter into the contract with the Israel company.The allegation is that K50 million was paid on a purported contract of sale that did not exist then, and without proper approval.
O’Neill was arrested on May 23 at Jackson Airport on his arrival from Brisbane.
He was charged and briefly detained at the Boroko police station before being released on a K5,000 bail issued by the National Court.
Magistrate Magaru extended his bail with conditions.

10 comments

  • The going rate to bribe a magistrate is K2 million. So, at this rate, O’Neill can have his case adjourned for another two years before he goes through his K50 million. With a bit of luck he will be Prime Minister by then and will have the whole case thrown out. Thank God he lives in PNG!

  • Isn’t a hand-up brief supposed to be part of such cases – our incompetent and under-performing police again fail to provide this very important document so the case have to be adjourned again. Cases get thrown out and adjourned a lot of times due to the incompetence of police detectives – its just unacceptable and we cant afford to continue entertaining this incompetence for cases needing justice to be served.

    It brings into question the qualification, experience and competence of the police detectives and whether they know what they’re doing to properly investigate and prosecute cases.

    On the other hand – can the senior leadership in the police department do an analysis of the data – cases investigated and successfully prosecuted to get a verdict in court, how many were thrown out, how many were adjourned (all of these to do with incompetence of police detectives) and put in programmes to improve their performance so cases are prosecuted in court reaching a verdict. The police department is responsible to better equip these police detective do a better job cos the they represent the state – we cant continue to produce incompetent police detectives challenged by smart and intelligent defendant lawyers who easily win cases because the state is represented by incompetent people.

    Its high time the state properly invest in these half-cooked police detectives so they start doing a competent job and get legal cases like this won on behalf of the state.

  • Bro you nailed it and I think it’s not about incompetent , it’s again bribery .

    Someone try and do a background check on these detectives, for sure you will find them owning businesses and lots of money.
    Ol narapela public servant Lon country suffer stap na ol displa detectives kisim money wer na mekim business.

  • Dirty Stag, few comments on what you have mentioned, what I have said already came to pass, I told church that someone will take the place of PO and that happened.Now I have seen PMJM is already disabled and with one sided leg. PO will gain his seat as PM.Believe my word as this will happen sooner or later.PO will never end up in jail.I do not support both but believe in the word of God like as other Christians.

  • Now you all can see what leadership Tribunal act is doing? . So the so called Politician will have to wait until proven guilty by law.

    Therefore when you make a contrast with the Politicians and thugs who got beaten up by Cops for lousy k10 or so pick pocketed or stolen from the shops, contrast with me, which one of those two did a lot of damage

  • Now you all can see what leadership Tribunal act is doing? . So the so called Politician will have to wait until proven guilty by law.

    Therefore when you make a contrast with the Politicians and thugs who got beaten up by Cops for lousy k10 or so pick pocketed or stolen from the shops, contrast with me, which one of those two did a lot of damage

    Over to you Prime Minister JM, it’s about time we scrape that leadership Tribunal Act and let every body subject to one common law.

  • Dear Dirty Stag,I really support you statement regarding cases get thrown out and adjourned a lot of times due to the incompetence of police detectives.One of the reality it happen everyday in PNG society is in all walks of life is BRIBERY,imagine some of those police detectives don’t used to hold such huge amount of monies like K1million or k2million in their life’s so when big people like O’neill don’t want to spoil their reputation and goes to prision they easily play money games and delay or even win the cases my times…who knows over to you police minister and commissioner pull up your socks,PNG people are watching you….

    • You all are absolutely right. We can use money to corrupt the justice system, bribe every police officer, every judge, etc and pay our way out with money, but remember that no one can bribe God. And God will still bring judgement and deliver justice at the right time. No human being will escape or hide from God. Our only hope is in God. PO is no exception.

  • Can Australia and New Zealand provide detectives to prosecute such cases?
    We can not trust any PNG national to any clean job because we are just to corrupt.

  • Police detectives must serve the state with honesty and the state is the citizens. When they do that they are also serving God. You get satisfaction out of achieving something. Incompetence and corruption should be done away with. Come on. Let’s build the nation (PNG) on a strong foundation.

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