Minister Charged For Misappropriating Over K3.1 Million



By Quinton Alomp, EM TV News, Port Moresby

Attorney General and Justice Minister, Ano Pala, was released on K5,000.00 bail at the Boroko police station at 8:20pm, yesterday, following his arrest in the afternoon.

He was charged with 15 counts of Abuse of Office and 15 counts of Misappropriation of Public Funds totalling K3,191,500.00

The money belongs to the Rigo District Services Improvement Program funds (DSIP).

It was alleged that Mr Pala used his authority as Rigo MP to apply for money for his own use and to two other companies named as Rigo Progress Corporation Limited and Changchae Tapioka (PNG) Limited.

At 2:30pm members of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption (NFACD) directorate intercepted Mr Pala at the Jacksons International Airport on his arrival from Brisbane, Australia.

He was taken to the NFACD headquarters in Konedobu where he was questioned for nearly five hours.

NFACD Director, Matthew Damaru, said the charges relates to him abusing his office and power to apply Public funds earmarked for Rigo District in the Central province for his own use and to the use of the two companies.

He was transported to the Boroko police station at 8pm.

He spent twenty minutes in the condemned cell block. His lawyer, Ralph Saulep, managed to get him out on K5,000 bail.

He is expected to appear for mention later this week.

Yesterday, National and Supreme Court Judge, Sir Bernard Sakora, was arrested and charged for official judiciary corruption.

Many people labelled his arrest and a sad history for Papua New Guinea.

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