Former PM accuses newspaper of exaggeration

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FORMER Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, pictured, has accused the Australian Financial Review (AFR) newspaper of sensationalism regarding a Sydney property linked to him ahead of a Commission of Inquiry into the controversial PNG UBS loans.
In a statement yesterday, O’Neill said: “The Prime Minister (JamesMarape) has announced that the Commission of Inquiry will take place and I am looking forward to this matter being cleared by an independent and transparent process.
“I have stated in Parliament that I will be the first person to appear before the Commission of Inquiry.
“I have never met anyone from UBS to negotiate these loans that are the subject of the report.
“The UBS loan was negotiated by relevant and rightful government officials, including Treasury.
“The information that was first leaked from the Ombudsman Commission through dubious circumstances was politically biased.
“If the AFR was serious about finding truth, they would be looking at the leaks.
They would investigate who was behind the leaks and if these are the same members of the OC that were involved in ensuring people mentioned in the report had no right of reply to the claims before they were published.”
O’Neill highlighted the “cheap attempt by the newspaper to link the UBS loans to a residential property in Sydney.
“Attempting to link this property that is owned by a family friend of 30 years is a cheap shot and misleading by the AFR.
My children have been renting while studying in Australia, and our family do not own any property in Sydney.”

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