State to sue media firm

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THE Government is considering filing a legal suit and criminal complaint with the police against the Post-Courier over a report on the granting of a development licence for the P’nyang gas project.
“We consider the report (published on Nov 18) misleading and malicious. We are seeking advice to initiate legal action against Post-Courier, as well as filing a criminal complaint with the police against the newspaper,” Lupari told The National on Monday.
According to a statement issued by Petroleum and Energy Minister Kerenga Kua, the matter was raised before Prime Minister James Marape who said “no one was negotiating for any personal benefits on the gas agreement”.
“Marape categorically denies any insinuation that anyone is entering into this negotiation for personal benefit.
“However, the second but most important thing is that the story was deliberately planted by foreign interest through a foreign-owned media company to discredit the State Negotiating Team (SNT), and to drive public opinion against the State before negotiation commenced,” Kua said.
Kua said the negotiation for the gas project between the SNT and Exxon started at 10am Monday.
“We note that Post-Courier is owned by developed nations.
“It is here to defend and advance its political and economic interests. Post Courier has acted precisely on que to destabilise the SNT just before our very own senior public servants step into the room on this momentous occasion,” he added.
“Let us not fall into the trap set for us by highly sophisticated propaganda machinery of the developed nations.
“Today, I ask each and every one of us to rally behind our very own SNT.
“The team sheet has been set and approved by me, the P’nyang Ministerial Committee, and finally the Prime Minister, in that sequence, and all of us are satisfied that the content and procedure we are adopting are all in accord with our laws. SNT is not acting alone,” Kua said.
He said what Post-Courier has done borders on unlawfully procuring classified state information, as well as attempting to commit an economic sabotage of an important economic project that will potentially improve the living standards of millions of people in Papua New Guinea.
“The State is looking into Post-Courier’s behavior in this instance.
The means by which they obtained any information, and the timing of their publication, just hours before the SNT enters the negotiation room at 10am.
“All these raises serious questions about Post-Courier’s underlying motives and their loyalty to this young nation,” Kua added.

8 comments

  • Isn’t that a good thing that the media is publishing a story, that perhaps, had it been unreported, someone and some group of people would have made off with a lot of money?

  • Most allegations in PNG usually have substance and it is up to PCourier to take up the challenge by State….fingers crossed….

  • The SNT should not take offense and cry foul so quickly. Press freedom will be seriously undermined if the state progresses this onto a legal platform. What the Honorable Minister and his team should do is show to the Public that what has been broadcast is not true or not entirely true by stating their facts and figures and providing correct information to rebut what has been put out in the media.
    And let us no longer use the excuse of PNG being a ‘young’ nation. It seems too many a politician and public commentator tends to use this an an excuse for our short falls and short comings.

  • Good when in Court Post Courier will tell its Part of the story. PC should at-least have something as well. Lets wait and see should be interesting.

  • Minister Kua is reportedly saying “unlawfully procuring classified state information” which would mean that what Post Courier reported wasn’t a LIE after all.

    SNT and Minister Kua should come out and explain the K100m rather than attempting to “caution” PC on its reporting.

  • Lupari and Kua should not cry foul but prove SNT’s innocence. The 2 of them are not bigger then the 7 plus million people of this great nation. Why run to court for prosecution when a simple statement in the media can clear up the misunderstanding. Let the freedom of press prevail.

  • The LNG agreement was grievously mishandled by the government and few elites with vested interest. This will be a wake up call for the government of the day to do things better. Well done Post Courier. Now Kua you will have to prove that what was reported by PC will never become like the Kokopo agreement.

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