Leaders facing tougher laws


LEADERS in Papua New Guinea can be convicted under two laws if they are found guilty of committing a serious crime in office, says Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin.
“People say we treat criminals differently from the leaders. It’s not perfectly true,” Kaluwin said.
“Leaders have a code that is covering them and there is a criminal code that covers all other persons including leaders. So if we look at it in this perspective, we will see that leaders are covered under two laws. There are two laws that can catch them. Unlike the normal people of the country.”
Kaluwin said citizens were subjected only to the criminal code while leaders were subjected to the criminal code and leaders’ code.
For example, if a leader committed fraud in office, he could be dealt with by the leaders’ code of conduct or under the normal criminal code.
“The ordinary citizens who commit an offence under the criminal code will be prosecuted under that code,” Kaluwin said.
“But if a leader commits the same crime then he may be prosecuted under two sets of laws, that is the criminal code which is the conduct that amounts to something that is against the leadership code, so he can be prosecuted in those two.”
Kaluwin said that the law applied equally to everyone, regardless of the position one held.
“No one is superior before the law and it applies equally to everyone,” he said.
“When it comes to leaders who have breached the leadership code, then they have to be dealt with in that manner.”