Stand-off continues as factions counter- attack

National, Normal

The National, Monday 09th January 2012

The political stand-off between the two factions continues with both factions looking for ways to discredit the other with to strengthen their legitimacy and discredit the other.
One such issue is the existence of the Task-Force Sweep and the work it is currently doing.
It emanated from a press release by Minister for Planning Sam Basil that Sir Michael Somare, his staff and others used more than K3.8 million to fund a visit to his hospital in Singapore.  
He said he had referred the list of names and the information to Task Force Sweep to investigate.
A day later, Belden Namah, Deputy Prime Minister in the O’Neill regime came out on the issue and stated that those who were involved would be investigated and prosecuted.
The Somare regime, led by the Grand Chief himself, while welcoming the investigations, accused the government of setting up Task Force Sweep as a political tool to “witch-hunt” political foes.
Chairman of Task-Force Sweep Sam Koim was asked yesterday to confirm whether he had received the controversial hospital expenses list.
Koim confirmed that he had received the allegations. When asked whether investigations had commenced and what actions would be taken.
“We do not commence an investigation immediately. My team  comprises well-trained public servant professionals,” he said.