7 Mar 2006

Commission says PNG's Deputy Prime Minister not facing misuse of funds charges

2:19 pm on 7 March 2006

Papua New Guinea's Ombudsman Commission says it has no plans to bring charges against the Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Moi Avei, for alleged misuse of public funds.

At the weekend Sir Moi said he had become the third member of Cabinet in a week to face investigation by prosecutors over alleged misuse of public money.

In a statement he said the allegations concerned his spending of district support grants in his electorate four years ago.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Alex Rheeney, says Sir Moi had said he'd been advised by the Commission he would be charged.

"But what happened was the Ombudsman Commmission actually said that he was not on their referral list, so they were not sure what all the noise was about."

Last week, Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare's son, the National Planning Minister Arthur Somare, and the Health Minister Melchior Pep were alleged to have misused public money.