16 Nov 2002

Former PNG prime minister and cabinet accused of taking bribes

8:14 am on 16 November 2002

An affidavit has been tabled in the Papua New Guinea parliament which accuses the former prime-minister Sir Mekere Morauta and his cabinet of receiving a total of nearly 460-thousand US dollars in bribes.

The document alleges that Sir Mekere and his deputy Michael Ogio received over 45-thousand dollars each from a real estate agent during the height of the scam involving the National Provident Fund.

Other ministers are alleged to have received amounts ranging from 4-thousand dollars to 34-thousand dollars.

The affidavit had previously been rejected by the former Speaker, Bernard Narokobi, in the last Parliament because of what were termed technical reasons.

The affidavit was lodged in an Australian high court by real estate agent, Ken Barker, last year.

It was part of the insolvency proceedings clarifying the financial dealings of the National Provident Fund chairman, Jimmy Maladina.