Public servant appears in court on abuse charge

The National, Wednesday July 6th, 2016

Deputy secretary for Treasury Aloysius Hamou facing a charge of abuse of office appeared for mention at the Waigani Committal Court yesterday.
Hamou’s charge relates to the State purchasing two power generators from overseas for K50 million.
Hamou, 57, from Kari village, Manus, is alleged to have approved and facilitated the procurement of a K50 million Treasury cheque payable to the Bank of PNG (BPNG) to purchase the two power generators without the approval of the National Executive Council.
Hamou’s lawyer argued that there was no evidence to prove that his client’s actions were a criminal act and that the interpretation of Section 92 of the Criminal code by the police was “totally misconceived”.
He argued that Hamou was only acting on the direction of the prime minister and NEC.
Prosecutor Sergeant Joseph Sangam told the court that Hamou did not follow proper procedures.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar said if Hamou did not approve the cheque, he would have disobeyed authority and would have been disciplined for subordination.
Bidar said he would consider submissions from both parties before handing down a ruling on July 19.
It is alleged that on Dec 18, 2013, Hamou approved the payment of K50 million to BPNG to purchase the generators from the Israel Electricity Company.
The Central Supply and Tenders Board indicated that the procurement did not go through the normal government process.