The National, Friday July 20th, 2012
By ADRIAN MATHIAS
EIGHT of the 11 misconduct charges against Arthur Somare are “duplicative, oppressive and misconceived” and should be dismissed, his counsel told a leadership tribunal yesterday.
Somare’s lawyer Ian Molloy said allegations one and five were a duplication of allegations two, three and four which he admitted on submitting late annual statements to the Ombudsmen Commission.
Molloy said they were oppressive and misconceived.
Allegation one relates to a failure to furnish annual statements and five relates to failing to comply with directions issued by the Ombudsmen Commission.
Molloy said they added nothing to the case against Somare.
He said allegation six had no evidence to support the charge.
“It also relates to a failure to comply with directions issued by the commission,” Molloy said.
He said allegation seven was misconceived on a failure to comply with directions issued by the Ombudsmen Commission.
“Allegations eight, nine, 10 and 11 have no evidence to support the allegation.
These allegations all relate to the leader’s application of the discretionary component of the district support grant,” he said.
A lawyer assisting tribunal senior state prosecutor Kathwa Umpake rebutted the defence’s submissions.
He said the documents (affidavits) before the tribunal clearly showed that he (Somare) had failed to furnish his annual returns to the Ombudsman Commission
Umpake said the ombudsman’s directions were clear as they were published in the National Gazette for all MPs, including the leader.
“There is no reason for him to say he was unaware of our directions,” Umpake said.
Somare failed to submit his annual returns from 1998 to 1999, 1999 to 2000 and 2000 to 2001.
But Molloy said they were wild allegations and should be dismissed.
Of the 11 allegations, he admitted to three last month which included allegations two, three and four on the late submissions of annual statements to the Ombudsmen Commission and denied eight, which included allegation one on a failure to furnish annual statements and allegations five, six and seven on a failure to comply to Ombudsmen’s directions.
Allegations eight, nine, 10 and 11 on misapplication of district services improvement programme funds for the Angoram district in East Sepik were also denied.
Somare appeared yesterday and was represented by Molloy, Goiye Gileng and Justin Wohuinangu.
The tribunal was adjourned to next Tuesday for ruling.