PNG TRIBUNAL FINDS SOMARE GUILTY

‘Grand Chief failed to disclose his earnings

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, March 21, 2011) – Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister has been found guilty of official misconduct after failing to properly lodge financial returns.

It was alleged Sir Michael Somare failed to properly lodge more than a decade's worth of annual financial returns with PNG's corruption watchdog.

A special leadership tribunal made up of three foreign judges found him guilty of five counts of filing returns late.

It also found Sir Somare guilty of eight counts of filing incomplete returns after he left out details of his salary and bank balances.

But Sir Somare was found not guilty of failing to lodge any returns at all over a three-year period in the 1990s.

The tribunal will hear submissions on penalties on Tuesday.

Politicians who have been found guilty of similar offences in the past have been given small fines.

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