STATE ADVISER HAMIDIAN-RAD TO "CLEAR UP" ISSUES IN PNG

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 4, 1999 – Post-Courier)---The lawyer for controversial economic adviser Dr. Pirouz Hamidian-Rad said yesterday that his client would clear up all concerns regarding allegations of tax evasion before leaving for a much-needed medical appointment in the United States.

Lawyer Powes Parkop said today that they will go to the National Court and file orders against Internal Revenue Commissioner General David Sode for preventing his client from leaving PNG.

He said they would also file contempt of court proceedings against Attorney General Michael Gene and Sode, both as individuals and in their respective official capacities.

"For the time being, Pirouz is resigned to the fact that he will have to clear all these matters first. We clear them now, and he can leave when he is ready to leave,'' Parkop said.

Dr. Hamidian-Rad's latest actions followed another preventative notice issued yesterday by Sode under Section 266 of the Income Tax Act, requiring the owners and charters or other representatives of ship or aircraft charters not to permit or issue authority for Dr. Hamidian-Rad to travel outside PNG.

Sode warned that anyone approving travel for Dr. Hamidian-Rad was personally liable to pay the amount of tax, if any, that is or may become due or payable by the economic advisor, including a fine not less than K 400 (US$ 150) and no more than K 1,000 (US$ 374).

Sode's secretary, Miria Tau, told the Post-Courier that under the Act, Sode was not free to reveal Dr. Hamidian-Rad's tax liabilities.

Dr. Hamidian-Rad met with Sode yesterday and was slapped with a third tax notice.

The lawyer said the State, including Sode, had failed on six occasions to prevent his client from leaving PNG through the judicial process and were now using administrative powers.

Parkop maintained they still had valid orders by the second highest court (the National Court), which had been satisfied that Dr. Hamidian-Rad would return after four weeks.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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