O’Neill faces arrest

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By GYNNIE KERO and SYLVESTER WEMURU
POLICE will investigate Ialibu-Pangia MP and former prime minister Peter O’Neill for alleged official corruption and have obtained a warrant for his arrest from the court.
Acting Police Commissioner David Manning said the warrant was based on the “weight of the evidence brought by the investigators”. The warrant was to have been served on O’Neill yesterday but according to Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Operations Donald Yamasombi, he could not be located.
O’Neill however told The National late yesterday that he only became aware of the warrant for his arrest yesterday when it was posted on social media by Manning. He denied that anyone from the constabulary had officially communicated the matter to him or his legal representative.
“I will make myself available (to police) at any time to hear this complaint,” he said.
Manning said investigation into the case had been ongoing and police detectives after collating all the “evidence” called for an application to the court for an arrest warrant.
Manning said he had made contact with O’Neill yesterday and had requested him directly to accompany Yamasombi to the Boroko Police Station but he refused to cooperate.
“I am now appealing to the former prime minister to make himself available to the investigators for the investigation process to be completed,” Manning said.
“He will be processed by police after which he has the right to bail and defend himself in court.
“Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law so O’Neill’s constitutional rights are being respected.”
O’Neill criticised the way police had gone about the process of investigating him.
“The fact that the acting commissioner would choose to make this announcement on social media and not through official representation to my office, is telling that this is a political move,” he said.
“I was not informed or presented with a warrant to appear anywhere today (yesterday) by any member of the (constabulary).
“If this was a serious matter, not a political power play, a formal process would be in place that would have seen legal representation made to my office.”
O’Neill suspects that the investigation may have something to do with “renovations to the Yagaum health centre in Madang”.
“The question must also be asked: Since when is it criminal to help community projects for health and education?” he said.
“If someone has mismanaged the funds, they should be dealt with, not people trying to assist.
“As (former) prime minister, I was never the custodian of the funds sent to Madang for the Yagaum health centre for renovations to repair the run-down hospital.”
O’Neill said “this blatant interference in police operations must be referred to the Ombudsman Commission.”
He claimed that Manning and Madang MP and Police Minister Bryan Kramer were behind the move to have him arrested and questioned.

10 comments

  • There is nothing sinister here and former PM is quite right. If he has allocated funding for Yagaum then whoever managed those funds should be responsible in such circumstances. But then again, the best place for all these talk is in the courts.

  • Servant leader leads’ to serve his people,
    please, let’s lead for the service of our people, let us care for each other.

    Thank you.

  • The current police minister is the man on the ground doing real work. All other mps should follow suit. As for the former PM it is time for him now to face the music. Don’t forget. What goes around comes around.

  • I think the key here is not who managed the funds but ‘where did the funds end up’ of course the manager of the funds is also culpable but this person would have been acting on instructions from above. Its well known that the former PM used public construction contracts as a source of personal wealth and as EK above has pointed out; this is the tip of the iceberg (a very large iceberg as well)

  • The allegations over O’Neil’s links with the Yauguan Health Centre have been “blown out of all proportion” and are politically motivated. This seems to be pretty obviously a politically motivated complaint and BK’s allegation against O’Neil is unprofound .

    The former PM has nothing to do with the Yaguan’s allocated fund which has been already allocated and managed by someone whom BK has known and why sticking his nose to O’Neil. I do feel this is a distraction and it is politicians seeking to use the complaints process in a highly political way.”The wholly independent assessment has to look at evidence of the payments made by the former PM’s office to one particular company and says there are serious questions to answer and so forth. The Police Commisioner and Police Minister has to follow due process and comply.

  • Frankly, to mention not just former Prime Minister should be investigated but also rest of the Parliamentarians. When the going says become a parliamentarian and get rich in seconds for corruption.

  • As the APC has said the police investigation has gone on for some time already leading up to the issue of the arrest warrant. That goes to say they must have uncovered concrete evidence to be now going after the ex PM.
    I can recall the ex PM was also involved in the NPF saga back in the late 90’s. He and cohort Jimmy Maladina and others were involved in misappropriating NPF funds and members had to undergo a write-down. He has never actually been held to account for that misdemeanor. As they say: Once a crook, always a crook.

  • Well everything should be proven in the court of justice, if there is signs of misappropriation of funds. Its good for PO to prove himself clear in the court. You did your part already to help the people, so go for it and face it.

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