PNG LAWMAKER: SOMARE HAS SOMETHING TO HIDE

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 28) - Lae Member of Parliament Bart Philemon has accused Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare of trying to hide the truth by disbanding the PNG Defence Board of Inquiry into the Julian Moti affair.

"Recently, before a huge crowd in Goroka, I called on Somare to come clean over the Moti affair. However, the Prime Minister had the audacity to call it a ‘dead issue’ and further launched a personal attack on me. The Prime Minister’s latest directive to disband the inquiry leaves a lot to be desired," Mr. Philemon said in a statement. "The Prime Minister has publicly denied that he had [anything] to do with the secret escape of Moti. Why did he direct the Minister for Defence to terminate the inquiry, claiming it to be a witch-hunt? Who is the Prime Minister trying to protect here?"

Philemon said the National Alliance-led Government had preached good governance, accountability and transparency but was not practicing it.

"If the Prime Minister thinks that it is a dead issue, by using the Government numerical strength in Parliament to endorse his report on the Moti affair last November 15, then I still believe that the Prime Minister had something to hide," Philemon said.

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