Pruaitch fined K3,000

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AITAPE-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch has been fined K3,000 by the Leadership Tribunal which said public policy and public good would not be served in the event of dismissal from office.
Tribunal chairman Justice Panuel Mogish fined Pruaitch K1,000 each for the three allegations which he had pleaded guilty to.
The allegations relate to the late submissions of annual statements.
Pruaitch was cleared by the tribunal on the other six allegations which he pleaded not guilty to.
Other tribunal members were senior magistrates Michael Apie’e and Nancy Lipai.
Justice Mogish said that a constitutional vacuum would be created and the people of Aitape-Lumi would have no representation in Parliament for the next 21 months or so and it would be an expensive exercise to undertake a by-election.
He said the issue of suspension had been subjected to a conflicting Supreme Court decision which had been resolved by a five-man Supreme Court bench in an application by Opposition Leader and Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah.
But he said Pruaitch’s failure to lodge his annual statement on time was still a serious matter.
“In the present case, the omission by the leader did not involve a criminal intent to deliberately flout the law and conceal his finances,” he said.
“We agree with the public prosecutor that the leaders’ consistent conduct in late filing of his annual statements over the years was negligent.
“He (Pruaitch) acted recklessly, showed disregard for the laws governing his conduct and displayed a careless attitude.”
Justice Mogish said the maximum fine was K1,000 and had been that sum since the statute was enacted 35 years ago.
“After 44 years since the passing of the Act, perhaps this is now the occasion to draw Parliament’s attention to the inadequacy of the law with the view to increase the fine to promote the principle of deterrence amongst leaders,” he said.
Pruaitch remains suspended until he pays his fines in full.

10 comments

  • The statute fine of K1000 as a maximum enacted 35 yrs ago IS DEFINITELY inadequate to deter such negligence at whim by politicians.

    The maximum should be ceilinged to K100,000.00

  • Will the PM continue to have confidence in a member with a guilty verdict by Leadership Tribunal and reinstate him to a ministry?
    Because of the looming VONC might as well ignore the verdict and replace BK with Pruaitch.
    BKs eligibility as MP is now being questioned. Better to lose BK than to lose NA and potentially the government.

  • K1000 fine must be a real joke. Pruaitch and most other MPs who don’t care about transparency are smiling happily because who knows how much money they must have misappropriated, misused….
    Time to increase the fine to K100.000. Then they will think twice before submitting their annual statements and report ‘late’.
    To say it’s ‘late’ reflects an attitude of carelessness and incompetency at the highest level. They know that they have to submit their reports annually and therefore should have the right people in place to prepare these reports. He should have been required to pay more than K3000 as well, because he is not a first time MP either. He grew fat in parliament and should have known how things are run in there. What a joke and crook of a figure.

  • The maximum K1,000 fine is just a joke for the MPs so they keep submitting late annual statements, the maximum fine should be K100,000 so they’ll compete in submitting annual statement before the expected date.

    I think our law makers should update some of our existing laws and make it more suitable and effective with the current time

  • What a joke to hear K1000 charges for late annual statement submission. The K1000 charges can be enacted and adjust to K10,0000 or something. Who is responsible to look into to this colonial times fee charges thing put in place? Sounds like the law is on his side, helping him on the very low charges for worse careless attitude.

  • In other countries, mandated leaders simply resign from their posts. In PNG we go through court battles as if this are inherited positions.

  • We know its a joke from the Government who made the laws and its 35 years ago so make it easier CHANGE it all, then We want have repeat the same mistake.. The decision is been made so let US not complaint.. Lets follow the LEADER.. thanks.

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