MADANG businessman, Peter Yama described yesterday’s front page Post-Courier article titled “Forced into hiding” as a deliberate and calculated attempt to discredit him and tarnish his image and reputation.
The report stated that threats may likely be faced by two prominent persons – the president of PNG Law Society, Kerenga Kua and managing director of Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited (MVIL) Dr John Mua – by Mr Yama over a K7.5 million court case, which the Supreme Court ordered MVIL to pay Mr Yama but BSP intervened.
Mr Yama, who is the former Usino-Bundi MP, said he was a policeman, politician and a businessman for well over 30 years and had never set out to break the law, or kill or injure other people in connection with his work.
“This news article has done great damage to me and my family. It portrays me as a man who is out to kill someone. It portrays me as someone who would place a bounty on the head of another person, and hire a gang to go after and kill them,” Mr Yama said.
“The imputations are that I am a bad person, someone who will stop at nothing to get what I want,” he said.
The article stated that Mr Kua, who is a senior partner to Posman Kua Aisi lawyers, and Dr Mua feared that Mr Yama could have given money to some gangs to attack them, so they went into hiding in fear of their lives.
Mr Yama said there was no proof as to any threats being issued to the duo and the report was based entirely on assumption.
He said the two men went into hiding only to avoid getting arrested by police.
He said he placed a complaint with the police to arrest the two as well as other senior BSP employees for perverting the cause of justice, but the duo appeal against the arrest at the National Court and successfully obtained restraining orders which delayed their arrest.
Mr Yama said they were free to move around then, and did not know why they have come up with such allegations, and the paper was also at fault for publishing such stories without any solid evidence.
Mr Yama said he was seeking legal advice to sue for defamation.
Mr Yama further said that he had valid claims against MVIL, and had followed the law to obtain orders for the damages to be paid to his company.
He said the matter was far from over, and was still before the courts, pending a final outcome.
“A number of people who are employees of BSP or were connected with this case have been arrested by police. That is entirely a police matter that cannot be influenced by anyone. If police feel they have enough evidence to arrest or charge someone, they have a constitutional duty to do so based on information before them.”
“I have upheld and respected the law in pursuing my claim. To suggest that I would employ criminal means to get what I want, as the Post- Courier article has done, is incredible,” Mr Yama said.
Mr Yama wants the newspaper to retract the article and to publish an apology.