Tiensten’s Submission

Pomio MP Paul Tiensten’s fate will be determined next Friday.


Mr. Tiensten’s legal team made his submission at the National Court House this morning.

His lawyers pleaded for leniency on the sentencing.


Judge presiding over the case, Justice Gibbs Salika, will sentence Mr. Tiensten.


In November last year, the former Planning Minister and Pomio MP Paul Tiensten, was found guilty for misappropriating K10 million.


Mr. Tiensten was found guilty on one count of misappropriation by trial judge, Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, in the Waigani Supreme Court.


The K10 million was allegedly paid to Travel Air, an airline company owned by Kokopo businessman, Eremas Wartoto.


The transaction was made during Mr. Tiensten’s term as the Minister for National Planning and Monitoring.


This was one of the first cases, Investigation Task Force Sweep investigated, when it was established by the Government in August 2011.


Today, lawyer Greg Shepherd, pleaded for leniency for his client.


Mr. Shepherd told the court that there were was no hard evidence of misappropriation and also that there was no evidence that his client had benefited directly from this fund.


Amongst submissions made by Mr. Tiensten’s lawyers, this morning at the National Court House, included restitution or compensation for the K10million misappropriated.


Mr. Shepherd told Justice Salika that Mr. Tiensten should be given a chance to compensate the money.


If the restitution sentence is granted, Mr. Shepherd said the member will be suspended from office and will do voluntary work in any public institution whilst paying up this money.


This will also lead to a vacancy in office which will result in a by-election for the Pomio electorate.


State lawyers on the other hand, argued that Mr. Tiensten be imprisoned for a certain period of time, saying he abused his authority as the minister, then to release the funds.


Mr. Tiensten also made his statement in court.


Firstly, he apologized to the people of Papua New Guinea, Pomio and his family and friends, for misappropriating the money.


As a first time offender, he pleaded for leniency on his sentencing.


He briefed the court on his contributions to nation building whilst working in the mining industry, followed by his political appointment as MP and minister.


Justice Gibbs Salika, then adjourned the meeting to Friday the 28th of March, which is next week.


Justice Salika told the court that he will make the sentencing then.

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