PNG’S SKATE ARRESTED, TO APPEAR IN COURT FOR THEFT

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PNG’S SKATE ARRESTED, TO APPEAR IN COURT FOR THEFT

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Dec. 6, 1999 – Post-Courier)---Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Bill Skate was arrested last Friday and charged with trying to steal more than K 5,000 (US$ 1,824.15) from the National Capital District Commission.

Reliable sources said former Deputy City Administrator Justine Tkatchenko and former NCDC Transport Director John Reid were also arrested and charged by police on Saturday morning in relation to the alleged attempted theft incident.

Deputy Police Commissioner Sam Inguba said Mr. Skate was alleged to have knowingly arranged with John Reid, who was then the NCDC Transport Director, to have a vehicle owned by Mr. Skate's associates repaired at a cost of K 5,765.27 (US$ 2,103.35) on May 17 this year.

Mr. Inguba claimed the vehicle in question was owned by Wadya Limited, a company incorporated by Willie Savi Hitolo, an adopted son of Mr. Skate.

He said the claim was cancelled by the National Capital District Commission's internal audit before the check was made out for the repair of the vehicle.

Mr. Inguba said Mr. Skate was released on his own recognition as he was already on K 1,000 (US$ 364.83) bail.

He claimed another person, Frank Makanuey, was also arrested and charged in relation to the same matter.

The four will appear in court today.

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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