20 Aug 2002

PNG Prosecutor says police could launch fraud investigation against Electoral Commissioner

10:47 am on 20 August 2002

Papua New Guinea's public prosecutor says police may launch their own investigation into corruption allegations against Electoral Commissioner, Reuben Kaiulo .

Chronox Manek says this would follow an investigation by the Ombudsman Commission, under the leadership code, of allegations of misconduct in office.

Mr Kaiulo, who presided over the country's recent chaotic and violent election, is accused of trying to convert state assets to a company run by his family.

Mr Manek says it will take a week to assess the Ombudsman's evidence before he can decide whether a leadership tribunal should be formed to hear the case.

But he says there is nothing stopping police from launching their own investigation

"we have the ombudsman commission who are investigating on the leadership front the highest available penalties that of dismissal and if there are any elements of criminality involved then it becomes a criminal offence and the police can investigate those. Normal penalties in terms of imprisonment come in to play"

Chronox Manek says the investigation has nothing to do with Mr Kaiulo's handling of the elections.

Mr Kaiulo annnounced at the weekend he would take overdue leave from his role as Electoral Commissioner to clear his name.