28 Oct 2010

No progress in alleged Nauru bribery case

9:15 am on 28 October 2010

The Australian Federal Police has yet to gather evidence concerning a Gold Coast-based company accused of trying to topple the government of Nauru.

According to the newspaper, The Australian, police received a referral from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade six months ago in relation to allegations of bribery of foreign officials.

It says a request for affidavit material from two Nauru politicians, Kieren Keke and Dominic Tabuna, was lodged only last week.

The Australian reported that Nauru's President Marcus Stephen and his cabinet ministers had accused Getax Australia of trying to topple the government in a bid to gain control of Nauru's phosphate.

The family behind Getax has emphatically rejected claims of wrongdoing.

After the Nauru government rejected a business proposal by Getax Australia, 11 of Nauru's 18 parliamentarians, including the six-strong opposition, went on a Getax-funded trip to Singapore.

After the trip, three government members switched sides amid claims of bribery and vote-buying, triggering the past 10 months of political crisis and a rolling state of emergency.