5 Apr 2007

PNG's former deputy prime minister faces penalties over misconduct in office

3:51 pm on 5 April 2007

The former deputy prime minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Moi Avei, will find out later this month what penalties he will face after being found guilty of misconduct in office.

The Leadership Tribunal found that Sir Moi, the suspended Petroleum and Energy Minister, was guilty of five out of nine charges of misconduct.

The tribunal's decision was unanimous and referred to his electorate funds of nearly 90,000 U.S. dollars, which was unable to be accounted for, as well as his inability to pay rental costs on a property.

Our correspondent, Alex Rheeney, says because the case is being conducted through the Leadership Tribunal, Sir Moi will not have to face criminal charges but there is a range of penalties he could face.

"He could only be fined. He could pay a fine. The next possibility is could actually kicked out of office but his dismissal from office for a three year period is the maximum penalty under the Leadership code. It would be the state's argument for him to be dismissed from office."

Alex Rheeney.