1 Apr 2014

Former PNG escapes longer jail term

11:30 am on 1 April 2014

A former Papua New Guinea MP would have likely faced a longer jail term had a bill passed by parliament last year been gazetted.

The Pomio MP, Paul Tiensten, was sentenced to nine years in jail on Friday for misappropriating US$3.8 million when he was the minister for national planning and monitoring.

A by-election will soon be held for his Pomio seat.

But our correspondent in Port Moresby, Todagia Kelola, says Mr Tiensten got off lightly, because parliament last year passed a bill allowing harsher penalties for convicted public officials.

"Those laws have been passed by parliament but they have not been gazetted. Now, if those laws were to come into play the sentence on Mr Tiensten would be higher than what he received."

Todagia Kelola says it's unclear why the law has not been properly gazetted yet.