Road management is suffering in Papua New Guinea
Governor Juffa says he’ll keep fighting illegal logging

O’Neill says he will quit if corruption case is proved

Peter O'NeillRADIO NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL

PETER O'Neill has declared he will resign immediately as Papua New Guinea's prime minister if evidence shows he has corruptly pocketed just one kina.

Papua New Guinea's anti-corruption watchdog issued a warrant for Mr O'Neill's arrest in June 2014.

The outstanding warrant relates to allegations Mr O'Neill personally authorised the illegal payment of about $US30 million to law firm Paul Paraka lawyers.

Mr O'Neill said that the legal case was taking its course.

"Show me where I have received one toea or one Kina and I will resign tomorrow," he told the National Press Club in Canberra on Thursday.

He insisted the lawyer concerned was employed by the previous government.

In 2014, Mr O'Neill responded to the arrest warrant by sacking the PNG police commissioner, firing his attorney-general and suspending numerous other justice department and police officials.

He also disbanded the country's anti-corruption watchdog, Task Force Sweep.

Asked about broader corruption in PNG and the issue of wealthy citizens using Australia as an investment destination like the Cayman Islands, Mr O'Neill said there was a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing.

The PNG Parliament will be debating laws to set up a new anti-corruption body during sittings in March.

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Peter Kranz

Journalist and ex-adviser to Liberal Governments Nikki Savva has written a book about Tony Abbott's fall from grace and his apparently unhealthy relationship with his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, which includes this snippet.

"In 2013, the prime minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill, wanted to meet then opposition leader Abbott. Credlin wouldn’t “allow” the meeting.

"Abbott asked his international affairs adviser, Mark Higgie, if he could “convince Peta” to allow the meeting. Her response was “it’s not going to happen” and it didn’t."

Why? Did Credlin think PNG wasn't worthy of attention?

mathias kin

O'Neil's court case for the Paraka signature saga will appear for final hearing on the 21/23 March 2016. Lets keep our fingers crossed. I believe this is it. His time is up!

Michael Dom

Damn straight, Keith - if he's found guilty, he'll be arrested and incarcerated.

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

In PNG people confess their sins or ill feeling towards their relatives when they are sick or about to die. Not when they are surrounded with worldly splendour.

Paul Oates

That excuse that there is no evidence has been used by generations and begs the question that if nothing wrong has happened, why spend 1 more toea to continue to block the current court proceedings?

In the excellent movie 'The Insider', Russel Crowe plays the tobacco company employee that finally blows the whistle on the tobacco industry.

For decades, Big Tobacco had claimed 'There is no evidence smoking harms people or leads to lung cancer'.

That was because the tobacco companies already had at their disposal, available and proven evidence against smoking. This evidence was illegally withheld. For many years the tobacco industry made billions by scientifically and intentionally addicting people to smoke cigarettes. All the while the taxpayers were paying for the medical results of addictive smoking while tobacco companies perjured themselves and took legal action to prevent the real evidence getting out.

The tobacco industry even supported 'healthy' sport and claimed it paid huge taxes to help the government pay for government services including health. Wow! the duplicity is mind blowing yet they got away with it for years. The fact that people were dying in agony in their millions was clearly irrelevant.

The fact is, PNG already has the legal framework to investigate and convict those who break her laws. Corrupt dealings don't always end up in transparently visible direct payments. Look at Queensland's history of brown paper bags as a classic example?

If those who are ethically attempting to operate under the law are being continually and intentionally frustrated by those in control of government, it must beg the question 'Why'?

Surely the answer is obvious?

Continual denials, effective bribes and constant staff dismissals and changes can only prevent the collapse of a 'house of cards' for so long. The longer it takes, the bigger the effort to remove the problem and the results of the after effects will be more painful to those concerned.

Look at what happens to all dictators when they fall? Wouldn't it be just far better to bow our gracefully? Well that depends on your perspective.

Why change anything if you can continue to get away with it? The so called 'god complex' becomes just far too addictive.

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