PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare covered up the Motigate Affair, according to the Ombudsman Commission.
The Ombudsman recommended that Sir Michael and his former deputy prime minister, Don Polye, be referred to the Police Commissioner to be investigated for possible Criminal Code charges.
Also recommended for police investigations are acting chief of staff of the Prime Minister Leonard Louma, deputy commissioner of police (administration) Toami Kulunga, police lawyer Hodges Ette and four senior Defence Force personnel.
It said this in its 70-page final report into the Julian Moti Report Affair which was tabled in Parliament by Deputy Speaker Francis Marus yesterday.
Ombudsman commissioners John Nero and Phoebe Sangetari compiled the report, noting with concern that the procedures of the arrest of Moti, then the Solomon Islands attorney-general, were flawed from the outset when he was taken out of Jacksons International Airport transit lounge, en route to Honiara, on Sept 29, 2006.
The Ombudsman said the police and the courts misinterpreted the Extradition Act and the Migration Act while PNG Defence Force air squadron acted out of line in eventually flying Moti to Munda, in the Solomon Islands, breaching PNG Civil Aviation procedures in the process. The Ombudsman said the Prime Mminister had used a national security provision of the Organic Law of the Ombudsman Commission on Nov 2, 2006, to prevent Mr Louma and then chief secretary, Joshua Kalinoe, giving evidence to the Ombudsman Commission and a separate Government inquiry into the Moti affair.
It said “this is seen as a means of protection, or cover-up” which prevented Mr Kalinoe, departmental heads and public servants from giving any information, answering questions or producing documents and other matters to the Ombudsman.
“In the opinion of the Ombudsman Commission, the direction to transport Mr Moti to the Solomon Islands came from the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, which was facilitated by key Government officials,” it concluded.