PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 27) - National Planning and Rural Development secretary Valentine Kambori was arrested on Friday for breaching a National Court order banning him from leaving the boundaries of the National Capital District.

Mr Kambori, despite the court order, traveled to Malaysia with State Enterprise and Information Minister Arthur Somare last week for a United Nations meeting. He was arrested upon arrival at Jackson’s International Airport where he was reported to have been whisked away by airport security from the international arrival area to the domestic arrival terminal in an attempt to avoid policemen waiting outside the international arrival terminal to arrest him.

It was not immediately established whether Mr Kambori was detained in police cells before rushing to the National Court late on Friday afternoon to apply for bail.

They secured Justice Les Gavara-Nanu, who ruled Mr Kambori was he was in direct breach of the court orders and directed him to pay K1,000 (US$305) to the State and surrender his passport to court by today.

"This is a clear order — he is not to leave NCD. If he breached that, then that is the breach of the bail condition," Justice Gavara-Nanu said when he was briefed on the matter.

Mr Kambori, who is also the chairman of PNG Forest Board, was convicted of contempt together with Acting Managing Director of National Forest Service Terry Warra and Financial Manger Joseph Pea for not paying landowners’ royalties and interests as ordered by the National Court.

Their sentence had been deferred to a later date pending the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal on the matter.

Another contempt proceeding launched by the suspended managing of NFS David Nelson is still pending against Mr Kambori and others. Mr Nelson’s case had been adjourned to November 6.

Meanwhile, Mr Kambori took the witness box, apologized, admitting he had breached the bail condition not to leave NCD.

He said he was required to travel as incumbent secretary on behalf of the State to a United Nations meeting in Kualar Lumpur, explaining he had traveled after unsuccessfully attempting to obtain leave from the National Court.

"It was not my willful intention to break the bail condition. Before I boarded the plane, I made an undertaking that there was no willful intent on my part to breach the condition. I apologize for that," Mr Kambori told the court.

October 28, 2003

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