THIS is my response to all the rumours circulating about Task Force Sweep being disbanded by the Papua New Guinea government.
Whilst I am not surprised that such a decision may be made at this time, I am yet to be notified of that decision (if any).
"When you fight corruption, it fights back" and, in that course, "when you get closer to the sun, you get burnt". It's all anticipated. That will not deter us.
The fight that we are fighting is not about Sam Koim or Task Force Sweep (ITFS). It's about us, our future and our country.
We have to rid our country of corruption before it rids us all. The interest of the country must dictate our decisions and supersedes any individual’s interest.
The country’s interest or they sometimes call the “national interest” is the interest of the common people of our great nation, not that of certain individuals who sit on the throne.
As servants of the State, we serve the State. We work with the government of the day in fulfilling their policies but our utmost duty is to the State and its people.
Whilst the authority that established ITFS reserves the right to disband it, it would be the gravest mistake a responsible government would make. So much is at stake and all the leaders should act responsibly.
An application to stay the warrant of arrest of the prime minister taken out by Police was filed in court and we were in court for the last two days.
Specific orders were made for all parties to exercise restraint and allow status quo to remain until the court decides otherwise.
We have to respect the court and its orders. The court specifically ruled today that it had taken note of contemptuous decisions of the government in the last 48 hours and stated clearly that contempt is not ruled out.
The decisions that are made including disbanding us, if true, would demonstrate the continued disrespect for the judiciary.
For those who are not clear about the case that is before the court, Hon James Marape filed a proceeding for the court to declare and accept that Paul Paraka’s legal bills were legal hence there should not be any criminality. They want to obtain a stay on that basis.
However, the prime minister in his prime ministerial directive of 13 May 2013 directed our team to investigate with a clear mandate to establish the legality of the bills and further to take appropriate criminal actions against persons involved in the illegal payments. That is actually what we have done and we are doing.
We did publicly announce earlier that we have established that the bills were illegal and fraudulent. For instance, an audit of the bills revealed that only 3% of the matters that Paul Paraka Lawyers billed and received payments were actually briefed out to them whilst 97% was bogus.
Based on those findings, we have in fact arrested and charged many people and their cases are currently in court.
Now they (PM and Marape) have taken a u-turn to confirm that the bills were legal. I believe that the judiciary will deliver justice.
Whilst politicians publicly brand all state agencies as compromised, let the wheels of justice which has just been turned, continue to turn and vindicate us.