27 Nov 2009

PNG anti-asian riot committee head claims removal before corruption exposure

4:20 pm on 27 November 2009

The head of a committee investigating anti-Asian rioting in Papua New Guinea says he was sacked because he was about to expose the corrupt dealings of government ministers.

The MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham says the 15-member committee he chaired until Wednesday was in the process of preparing a progress report which he says identified governmental weaknesses and illegal activities.

Mr Maxtone-Graham says three other members have resigned in protest at his removal, which he says was unlawfully conducted on the basis of voice, not vote.

But he says the committee's findings are like a time bomb that will eventually explode.

"There's so many business deals going on, like the casino. Prime land that's belonged to the state was given to this Korean company and we know that ministers in government are partners in this casino project. While on the other hand we have the hospital, the main hospital in the country, Port Moresby general hospital is run down. So many things are not going right in this country."

Jamie Maxtone-Graham of Papua New Guinea.