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September 30, 2020
Featured News Papua New Guinea

Former PM, Peter O’Neill Out On Bail

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Former Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill was released on a K5000 bail after his arrest at the Jacksons International Airport yesterday afternoon.

He was taken to the National Fraud Office for questioning before spending some time at the Boroko Police Station last night.

O’Neill was charged on allegations of authorizing the purchase of two generators from Israel in 2013.

After a lengthy process, bail was granted at 12 midnight and the former Prime Minister was released at 1 am.

Footage surfacing on social media of the arrest at Jacksons international Terminal yesterday afternoon of the former PM and Ialibu Pangia MP, Peter O’Neill, who had arrived in Port Moresby from Australia with his wife.

He was then taken to the Fraud Squad office where he was interrogated for more than three hours.

Later in the evening he was brought Boroko Police station and charged with one count of abuse of office, one count of official corruption, and one count of miss appropriation of K50 million which were the property of the state.

In a media statement for the Nation Fraud office, they alleged that in early December 2013, O’Neill in a letter to the then Acting Secretary for Treasury, Dairi Vele, was directed that he identifies K50 million from the 2013 National Budget and have it transferred to the bank of Papua New Guinea for the purpose of purchasing 2 x Turbo Diesel Generators for Port Moresby and Lae.  He further stated that PNG Power Limited had been consulted on the technical aspects and have agreed to the purchase of the two generators.

Police investigations revealed that late in December 2013, K50 million cheques were paid into the BPNG by the Department of Treasury that was then cleared and transferred to LR Group Ltd by the Bank of Papua New Guinea.

The investigation found no proper procurement process was followed.

It was also found that Tax Clearance Certificate issued for the K50 million from IRC was in the name of Israeli Electrical Corporation and not LR Group.  There was no contract of sale for the purchase of the two generators.

After the K50 million was paid to LR Group, it is alleged that O’Neill then sponsored NEC submission for approval of K94 million for the purchase of 2 x generators set from the Israeli Electrical Corporation.

NEC approved the K94 million and proper procurement process was followed.

The matter was then reported to the Police National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate for investigation by the then Opposition Leader- Hon. Belden Namah was followed by a police investigation.

At 12 am this morning a bail hearing was heard by Justice Mogish.

Justice Mogish heard from O’Neill lawyers that he was a citizen of the country and the former Prime Minister and he was not high risk and would comply with the condition of bail.

Mogish granting Bail on the condition that bail is set at k5000, O’Neill is released and the bail amount is paid before Monday 25th of May.

By Adelaide Sirox Kari, EMTV News, Port Moresby.

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