Prime Minister attacks OC report

National, Normal

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has attacked the Ombudsman Commission report into the Moti Affair, describing it as based in hearsay and lacking fairness.
The report, tabled in Parliament by the Speaker last Wednesday, recommends criminal investigations against the Prime Minister and former deputy prime minister Don Polye.
In a statement yesterday, Sir Michael said the Commission had chosen to revisit the issue of Julian Moti’s departure from PNG on a Defence Force aircraft.
“I had assumed that the Ombudsman report would be based on hard facts, but sadly, falls far short of this and relies on hearsay evidence.”
He said a number of serious irregularities were found in the establishment of the Board of Inquiry into the Moti Affair, and on legal advice the Defence Minister Bob Dadae took note of the findings and decided not to pursue the matter.
“The Ombudsman Commission has chosen to pursue the matter regardless of the flaws identified with the findings of the Board of Inquiry and the outcome of the Queensland supreme court hearings.
“I find the conduct of the Ombudsman Commission to be calculating, mischievous and lacking in transparency.
“Furthermore, I am surprised that the Ombudsman has called upon the police to further investigate my role as Prime Minister in the use of a Defence Force aircraft to take Julian Moti to the Solomon Islands.
“The Ombudsman Commission however does not give any reasons for this damaging recommendation.
“I wish to state categorically that the findings of the Ombudsman Commission are all based on circumstantial evidence.
“I call upon the Commission to come clear on what offence under the Criminal Act they will use for possible prosecution against me.
“Without this, the motive of the Ombudsman Commission appears to be sinister and reflect a lack of objectivity and fairness in dealing with the matter at hand.
“As I have stated in the past I brought this country to Independence and my record shows that I will never act against the interest of the people of Papua New Guinea.”