17 Jan 2006

PNG governor Yali to be sentenced on Thursday following rape conviction

5:15 pm on 17 January 2006

In Papua New Guinea, the sentencing for convicted Madang Governor James Yali is now to be held on Thursday.

Yali was convicted of rape last year and lawyers made final submissions on his sentence today.

There is also an assembly meeting scheduled for Thursday to elect a new governor, should Yali be jailed for more than nine months.

The constitution says no MP can hold on to their public office if convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term exceeding nine months.

Since Yali's conviction there had been intense lobbying for the province's top post.

Those seeking the governorship include MPs Peter Yama and Alois Kingsley as well as the Inter Government Relations Minister, Sir Peter Barter.