By SHEILA LASIBORI
A SENIOR staff of the PNG High Commission in the Solomons’ capital, Honiara, has reportedly paid SB$4,000 as compensation for alleged sexual advances at a woman.
The SB$4,000 (more than K1,500) was reportedly paid to the husband of the woman after he demanded compensation when he learnt of the staff’s advances.
The woman, a female staff at the PNG High Commission, had told the husband and colleagues of the alleged advances on three separate occasions since last Dec 19.
The Honiara-based weekly Island Sun newspaper last Friday broke the story, quoting unnamed sources.
Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Sam Abal was understood to have been informed of the newspaper report on Saturday when he transited through Honiara on his way to Fiji and New Zealand on official duties.
The National was yesterday reliably told from Honiara that a senior officer (named) from Solomon Islands department of foreign affairs had sought information from the newspaper on Saturday to prepare a brief for Mr Abal during his stopover at the VIP lounge at Henderson International Airport.
The officer had reportedly tried to “squeeze” information from Island Sun on the sources of the story but to no avail and that he had verbally advised that he or the department would investigate the report.
The staff had also said the PNG Foreign Affairs Department and the Government was “dead worried” about the story as it wanted to build a good image following recent reports of an accident involving an official vehicles belonging to PNG High Commission in Honiara.
The story headline was, “Envoy pays husband $4,000 compensation”.
The alleged first approach to the woman was last Dec 19, during a Christmas party at the staff’s official residence, when he allegedly approached her after her husband was thrown out of the party by police for being drunk and disorderly.
The sources said the PNG staff forced the woman to sleep in one of the bedrooms in his house so he could pay her a visit later in the night, but she refused.
After that incident, the sources said the woman had thought her boss (the staff) had acted weirdly due to drunkenness but then on Christmas Eve last year, the staff asked her again and this time he instructed her to find a room at the Heritage Park Hotel so that he could make love to her.
They alleged that the staff promised her he could facilitate anything at all that she wanted, even a four-digit amount.
It was during this time that she knew the diplomat was serious in his initial approach to her at his residence and so told her colleagues of the incidents.
The sources said the last straw to the sexual harassment happened last week when the diplomat rang the woman from Mendana Hotel and told her to see him there.
They said the woman then told her husband about the call and the previous approach.
The sources said the woman’s husband was furious and demanded compensation from the official.
They claimed the diplomat gave the woman’s partner SB$4,000 as compensation for his sexual attempts on the man’s wife.