7 Jun 2002

PNG Governor has dismissal quashed by the National Court

6:14 pm on 7 June 2002

The former Eastern Highlands governor, Peti Lafanama, is now free to contest the Papua New Guinea elections after the National Court quashed his dismissal from office.

The National newspaper says Mr Lafanama was sacked last month after being found guilty by the Leadership Tribunal on three charges of misconduct in office .

The charges had centred on him obtaining nearly 3-thousand US dollars from the Gaming Control Board.

It was alleged that while a staff member for former prime minister Bill Skate, Mr Lafanama had obtained the money for his own benefit.

In handing down the court's decision, Justice Sir Kubulan Los overturned the penalty of dismissal from office but upheld the findings of the leadership tribunal.

Sir Kubulan imposed an alternative penalty of a fine of around five hundred US dollar for each of the three offences.

The judge ruled that being unable to be elected again to a public office was an unreasonable lifetime punishment.