MP maintains innocence

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KIRIWINA-Goodenough MP Douglas Tomuriesa claims that he is innocent and will clear himself in court on allegations of misappropriating K6 million intended for renovating health workers’ houses in Western
“I believe that I have done the project and I have a team of lawyers who will defend the case,” he said.
“I’m innocent and I have nothing to hide.
“I have provided all the documents. But the fraud squad thinks otherwise, so we will have to go to the court to clear this case.
“I was a businessman and this project was done in 2011 before I became an MP.
“The project was advertised in the media. I won the contract through Central Supplies and Tenders Board.
“That project was cleared by the state solicitors.”
Tomuriesa said on Saturday that he was concerned that National Fraud and Anti-Corruption director Mathew Damaru did not follow proper procedures to request an interview with him.
“He just texted requesting me to go down to the office in Konedobu,” he said.
“And based on that text, I replied that I will come for an interview.
“There was no formal invitation letter requesting me.
“Anyway, I went down voluntarily to be interviewed.
“But then there are processes to follow in investigating public office holders like me.
“My case should have gone through the vetting committee set up by former police commissioner Gari Baki.”
Tomuriesa said that he cooperated and gave his side of the story and required documents.
“I thought that the information that I had furnished was sufficient for them to make their decision there at the office (to allow me to go),” he said.
“But then the fraud squad had already made their decision to lay charges against me.
“Anyway, like every Papua New Guinean, including leaders like me, we are subjected to the law. No one is above the law.
“We had a good interview and from the interview, we came across some facts and now we will have to go to court and allow the court to decide on what we have discussed.
“I would like to assure my family, friends and supporters back in the electorate and throughout the country that no one is guilty until found innocent and the courts will decide that.
“I am very confident that I am innocent and I will allow my team of lawyers to defend me.
“I’m a leader myself. I built a reputation for 10 years as an MP. Apart from that, I am a leader in my family, tribe and country.
“I will redress the case. And hopefully I can go back to the important part and that is serving the people of Kiriwina-Goodenough.
“And services that I have delivered will continue.”
Tomuriesa’s wife Rachael appeared in court on Friday facing similar charges of misappropriation and money laundering involving the same K6 million.
Both are out on bail for K6,000.
“Acting on complaint filed on July 24, 2013, by former chief secretary, late Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, when he was the acting finance secretary, we arrested Tomuriesa, 51, from Losuia village in Kiriwina-Goodenough, Milne Bay, and charged him on Thursday with three counts of misappropriation, false pretence and money laundering,” Damaru said.

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