19 Jun 2014

PNG PM's response a joke, says Koim

2:29 pm on 19 June 2014

The head of the Papua New Guinea anti-corruption unit, Taskforce Sweep, has described statements by the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill about its work as a joke.

Mr O'Neill yesterday announced that the government was disbanding the unit because it has become politically influenced.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The move follows an arrest warrant being served on Mr O'Neill this week in relation to his alleged role in massive illegal payments to a law firm.

The warrant stemmed from an extensive probe by Taskforce Sweep whose chairman Sam Koim says he is not surprised by Mr O'Neill's response.

"And now they're firing back at us and saying all manner of things, even accusing us of being politically compromised. It's just a joke, you know. We are not that cheap. Our honour, integrity and professional diligence cannot be traded, and we deny everything outright."

Sam Koim.

Meanwhile, a stay order on the warrant has been put in place for a week.