28 Mar 2013

Special leases commission in PNG defends its work amid criticism from Attorney General

4:44 pm on 28 March 2013

One of three senior Papua New Guinea lawyers who were commissioned to carry out an inquiry into the special agriculture business leases has defended their work after strong criticism from the Attorney-General.

Kerenga Kua accused the lawyers of substandard work in conducting the inquiry which he says has run well over the expected time frame and cost the state 6.8 million US dollars.

However, one of the commissioners, Alois Jerewai, says they take exception to Mr Kua's criticism of what he says is an extensive report foreshadowing the final report due by May.

"As far as we're concerned, there was no justification whatsoever for his criticism to be levelled in the manner he did, particularly before the tabling of the interim report and him having pre-empted and gone through the contents of the report and criticised us not only in relation to the report but also to the extent of undermining our professional integrities."

Alois Jerewai denies the Attorney-General's claim over the inquiry's cost, saying it cost half what he claimed, and that the commissioners were not directly responsible for the funding.