19 Aug 2005

PNG Police Commissoner dismisses claims of politically motivated charges

6:30 pm on 19 August 2005

Papua New Guinea's Police Commissioner has dismissed claims by the nation's opposition leader that fraud charges laid against him are politically motivated.

Peter O'Neill appeared in a Port Moresby court yesterday on seven counts of misappropriation and one of conspiracy relating to massive losses by a national superannuation fund.

The People's National Congress leader said he would stay in his job despite allegations he was linked to a scam that triggered the spectacular financial collapse of the National Provident Fund (NPF) when he was a banking executive more than five years ago.

O'Neil said the case against him was weak, politically motivated and would evaporate in the face of evidence.

However, police Commissioner Sam Inguba says the opposition leader is implicated in a major fraud investigation.

Commissioner Inguba says they have been working on Mr O'Neill's file for some time and he was arrested after the necessary information was compiled.

He says any person who is caught in such a dilemma is bound to make unnecessary and unfounded allegations against the police, but the sentiments will not deter police from investigating and prosecuting the case.