The first public hearing for the Commission of Inquiry into the UBS Loan which was supposed to be held today has been deferred to a later date.
COI Chairman Sir Salamo Injia made this announcement in a media conference this morning.
He said this is due to some administrative arrangements by the government, which are yet to be completed.
“The commission is still unable to sit today as schedule for its opening because administrative arrangements to secure the attendance of overseas Commissioner and Counsel have still not been completed by the government.” Sir Salamo Injia said
The chairman also highlighted some outstanding work that is yet to be done.
This includes an advice from the state solicitor on the requirement for work permits for the overseas commissioner and counsel, among others.
“If the delay continues, this commission may seek the political indulgence of the Attorney General or the Prime Minister to expedite these matters,” the chairman said.
According to the chairman, funds approved by the Prime Minister, are yet to be released to the commission.
He said, foreign exchange clearance of payments is still being held up by the central bank and tax office.
The chairman said, specific date and time for the opening public hearing will be announced later this month.
He further added that if these administrative arrangements are still not completed by this month, the matter will be publicly mentioned on Monday 16th of December, at 9: 30 am, for an announcement to be made on the future conduct of the inquiry in 2020.
The Chairman appealed to all government agencies and officers responsible to prioritize the commission’s request for assistance, to enable this commission to sit in 2019.
By Rayon Lakingu, EMTV News, Port Moresby