10 Mar 2010

Transparency PNG astounded by PM attack on Ombudsman

4:02 pm on 10 March 2010

Transparency International in Papua New Guinea says a verbal attack on the Ombudsman Commission by the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, is unbecoming of the country's founding father.

Sir Michael says the Commission is calculating, mischievous and lacking in transparency for it calling that he be investigated over the escape from the country of the former Solomon Islands Attorney General, Julian Moti.

Mr Moti had been sought by Australian police on sex charges, which have now being thrown out by a Brisbane court.

He was secretly flown from Port Moresby to Solomon Islands on a PNG Defence Force plane.

Peter Aitsi of Transparency PNG says Sir Michael should consider the impact of his criticism on the long-term work of the Ombudsman's Office.

"What we are particularly concerned about is that within the Ombudsman Commission's report it clearly points out the political influence and the use of political influence to cross over constitutional agencies, and to provide and issue directions which were, in principle, against the law in terms of their independence."

Peter Aitsi of Transparency International in PNG