18 Aug 2005

PNG opposition leader arrested on misappropriation charge

2:54 pm on 18 August 2005

Papua New Guinea's Opposition Leader, Peter O'Neill, has been arrested and charged with misappropriation and conspiracy.

The eight counts relate to a financial collapse in 2000 of the PNG superannuation scheme, the National Provident Fund, now known as Nasfund.

The People's National Congress party leader was summoned to police fraud squad headquarters in Port Moresby yesterday and after hours of questioning was released on 330 US dollar bail.

He is due to appear in court today.

In a statement, O'Neill said the charges were politically motivated and he would vigorously fight them in court.

O'Neill said he had also instructed his lawyers to sue the state, its agencies and individuals "who collaborated with malicious intentions" to have the charges brought against him.