Prime Minister to face Leadership Tribunal

by Quinton Alomp, EM TV – Port Moresby

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has been referred by the Public Prosecutor to face a leadership tribunal.

The Prime Minister’s referral yesterday afternoon, was on his involvement in obtaining the controversial Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) loan to purchase shares in resources company Oil Search.

He will have to provide to the leadership tribunal the administrative and financial processes involved in obtaining the loan.

A confident Mr O’Neill told journalists in a media conference today that he welcomes the Public Prosecutor’s decision but denies any foul play was involved.

“We as you know deny that. We did that for the best interest of the nation and the people.”

“Our actions are to make sure the state have some ownership of that company.”

“We welcome the Public Prosecutor’s decision, because it gives us the opportunity to go before the tribunal and the courts to determine the outcome of these decisions based on real evidence that are going to be presented,” the Prime Minister said.

Yesterday afternoon Mr O’Neill received a letter from the Public Prosecutor, informing him that they (Public Prosecutor) have requested the Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, to appoint an independent tribunal to hear this matter.

The tribunal will look into allegations of administrative and financial procedures involved in acquiring the loan.

The Prime Minister is yet to be officially informed about the charges.

When asked whether he will step aside to face the tribunal, Mr O’Neill said he will only do so if the tribunal finds him guilty and requests him to do so.

Mr O’Neill also raised concerns that few individuals have been obtaining confidential information from government departments earlier before public announcements are being made.

He said an investigative team will be formed to investigate such practices.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister has assured the people that the 2015 National budget is ready to be tabled in Parliament next Tuesday.

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