PM Denies Allegations

Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill has denied in the strongest possible terms, an allegation leveled against him relating to the Paraka Lawyers payments.

In a statement just released, he said the warrant of arrest issued last Thursday, will be fully tested in court.


“There was a warrant of arrest issued last Thursday, which will be fully tested in court. I deny in the strongest terms, the allegations contained in it.


“They are again, basing the allegations on correspondence purportedly from the office of the prime minister.


“The Anti-Corruption Task Force Sweep has conducted a thorough investigation, and made its findings known, clearing me,” Mr O’Neill said.


He said it was very disturbing that certain individuals want to create instability by arresting a sitting prime minister based on an allegation that has not been proven, or are before the courts.


“There are a number of proceedings on foot, relating to the payments to Paraka Lawyers. This includes a proceeding instituted by the Finance Minister, James Marape, to determine the legality or otherwise, of the payments to the law firm.


“We should allow these proceedings to be completed, and their findings made known,” he said.


“Paraka Lawyers were engaged by the previous government in 2002. When the payments were made by the Finance Department in 2011 and 2012 without our knowledge, I ordered an investigation to establish if these payments were legal and proper,” Mr O’Neill insisted. “Yet I now face an allegation of improperly directing payments for the benefit of Paraka Lawyers. I reject this, and will defend this strenuously.”

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