By HELEN TARAWA
FORMER Treasurer Don Polye told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Union Bank of Switzerland K3 billion loan yesterday that the Government deal in 2013 broke “every law in the constitution”.
“Every law in the constitution was breached to acquire the loan,” he said.
Polye is expected to give a full statement to the commission, with evidence, next month on everything he knew about the transaction.
The K3bil loan (AU$1.3billion) was acquired by the Government led by prime minister Peter O’Neill to buy 10 per cent shares in Oil Search in 2014.
Polye who was then treasurer allegedly refused to sign documents relating to the transaction.
It is understood that it led to his sacking as treasurer in April 2014.
He later unsuccessfully challenged the legality of the Government loan in court in 2016, as the Opposition leader.
Polye told the commission of inquiry in Port Moresby yesterday that he would submit a written summary of evidence next month.
“I will also give evidence as to the court proceedings that I took,” he said.
“I brought this through my lawyers to court to nullify this loan because it broke every law – the Constitution, the Finance Management Act and the IPBC Act – about eight or nine laws.
“I will talk about the country’s economy and how this loan has affected all of us in the country.
“This loan has affected us.
“We cannot deny this.
“Our development budget is only K4 billion.
“You cannot (therefore disregard) K3bil loan and say it is nothing.”
Polye said all the development budget was consumed by the loan when repaid.
Polye said he will also give evidence on what happened in the Treasury Department and the economic management team that entrusted by the constitution.
“I will be giving evidence on what happened at the cabinet because I was there.”
Polye urged the commission of inquiry to make recommendations so that this country “gets some salvation out of it. We cannot continue to allow people to make decisions that are detrimental to our people and act as if nothing has happened and yet we suffer,” he said.
“This is a national issue and one that is going to be impacting the future generations for a long time.”
Commission chairman Sir Salamo Injia said Polye would give a written summary of evidence with relevant documents when the hearing resumes on Aug 24.
By HELEN TARAWA