LIST OF PNG POLITICIANS UNDER INVESTIGATION GROWS TO 13

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 9, 2002 – Radio Australia)---A former deputy prime minister of Papua New Guinea is facing investigation by the public prosecutor.

And, from Port Moresby, Radio Australia correspondent Dulciana Somare reports that 13 politicians are now under investigation.

"Former PNG Deputy Prime Minister Mao Zeming is being investigated by PNG's public prosecutor Chronox Manek.

"Mr. Zeming could face a leadership tribunal over allegations that he was unable to account for public money left at his discretion if there is convincing evidence against him.

"Of the thirteen PNG leaders alleged to be in breach of leadership codes, two provincial governors are in police custody awaiting sentencing, while four other MP's who have been implicated have resigned from public office.

"All thirteen leaders will defend their seats in the June elections. Twelve of the thirteen awaiting indictment are members of the coalition government led by the ruling People's Democratic Movement Party.

"Dulciana Somare, Port Moresby."

 

LIFE BAN DEMANDED FOR CORRUPT PNG POLITICIANS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 9, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The international corruption watchdog, Transparency International, is demanding a life ban on Papua New Guinea politicians who breach their country's Leadership Code.

From Port Moresby, Radio Australia correspondent Dulciana Somare reports that the watchdog's PNG chairman, Sir Anthony Siaguru, says PNG leaders are taking advantage of their positions to circumvent the system.

"Transparency International PNG Chairman, Sir Anthony Siaguru, himself a former PNG politician, is condemning MP's who've resigned from public office to avoid prosecution under the Leadership Tribunal.

"Sir Anthony wants the Constitutional Development Commission to pursue its recommendation to impose a life ban on MP's found guilty of criminal charges while holding leadership positions. He said, ‘It is important that community groups, that civil society maintains the pressure. We have to make sure that the legislation is amended so that this loophole - this technical loophole - is closed off. Leaders have to face up to the consequences of their actions. It's as simple as that.’

"Thirteen PNG politicians are under investigation for alleged breaches of the leadership code. Two provincial governors are in custody awaiting sentencing while others, who've not yet resigned to avoid trials, will have their fate determined by the Leadership Tribunal headed by Justice Sir Robert Woods.

"Dulciana Somare, Port Moresby."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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