18 Jun 2014

PNG PM probe waits on court

4:54 am on 18 June 2014

A Papua New Guinea national court judge has directed senior police hierarchy not to interfere with officers involved in investigating the Prime Minister.

Police this week served an arrest warrant on Peter O'Neill over his alleged involvement in illegal payments of US$29 million to a law firm headed by Paul Paraka.

Johnny Blades reports.

"The Prime Minister has refused to appear for police questioning, saying the warrant is suspicious and based on false allegations as part of a political stunt. A stay order on the arrest filed by his lawyer was upheld by Justice Ere Kariko on the grounds that Peter O'Neill's legal team is to be given ample time to respond to an affidavit filed yesterday by Sam Koim, the chairman of the anti-corruption unit Task Force Sweep, from whose probe into the Paraka payments the arrest warrant for the Prime Minister stemmed. Justice Kariko has ordered police to refrain from taking any further action against Mr O'Neill until matters surrounding the warrant are heard in court this morning."