State official in contempt

Main Stories, National

The National, Thursday August 1st, 2013


A SENIOR public servant found guilty of contempt has been given a 12-month suspended jail term and ordered to pay K10,000 compensation within 21 days. 

Rendle Rimua, Petroleum and Energy Department Secretary, was found guilty of deliberately disobeying an order of the National Court of May 23, 2012. 

The court had ordered him, as department secretary, to pay a former department staff, John Siune, all entitlements due to him by midday on May 25, 2012. 

Rimua failed to pay the entitlements to Siune within the two-day period set by the court. He paid Siune in two instalments – on June 1 and June 22 last year.

“The contemnor breached his duty as a leader to be a role model for all public servants and the people of Papua New Guinea as to how they should respect and comply with orders of the National Court,” Cannings said. 

He said Rimua had displayed a careless attitude to his duty to comply with court orders. 

Cannings suspended Rimua’s 12-month jail term but issued 11 conditions including the non-consumption of alcohol and drugs, maintain the peace and be of good behaviour. 

He ordered Rimua to personally pay Siune K10,000 by Aug 21, adding that the money must come from his own pocket and not from the department’s funds.

Rimua, 48, from Manugoro village, Rigo district, in Central, is married with three children. He has a Bachelor of Economics degree from UPNG and a Masters in Petroleum Taxation and Finance from Dunn University in the United Kingdom. 

Rimua has been the secretary for the department since 2007. 

Cannings warned Rimua not to breach the conditions because he would be asked to show cause as to why he should not be sent to prison for 12 months.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer told a court yesterday that he failed to turn up on Tuesday because he got the dates mixed up.

Former National Capital District metropolitan commander Supt Andy Bawa told Justice David Cannings that the affidavits he was instructed to produce in court this week were with his lawyer Nicholas Miviri.

Cannings, after Bawa and Miviri failed to turn up in court on Tuesday, said they would face contempt of court charges if they did not turn up yesterday.

Miviri via a fax message informed the court that he was in Lae on other work commitments which resulted in his non-appearance on Tuesday. 

Another lawyer appeared in court on his behalf yesterday.

The court had ordered Bawa on June 26 to update it on steps being taken by the police to investigate the alleged brutal treatment of 74 men in the National Capital District on May 26.

Bawa told the court yesterday that he had done what was required by the court but the affidavit was with his lawyer Miviri. 

State lawyer Emma Wurr, from the Public Solicitor’s office, proposed that Bawa be given more time to file his outstanding affidavit. 

Cannings ordered that Bawa be given until Aug 21 to file the affidavit to show the steps police had taken to investigate the alleged wounding of the 74 men and explain if the charges laid were criminal in nature or under the police disciplinary code. 

The case was adjourned to Aug 28.