10 Mar 2006

Papua New Guinea deputy PM referred for probe over misuse of funds

6:04 am on 10 March 2006

The Papua New Guinea Ombudsman Commission and Public Prosecutor have confirmed the referral of Deputy Prime Minister Sir Moi Avei for alleged breaches of the Leadership Code.

The Ombudsman Commission released separate statements four days after Sir Moi unusually broke his silence and vowed to defend himself.

The Commission said it had referred the Deputy Prime Minister yesterday to Public Prosecutor Chronox Manek for alleged misconduct in office.

The charges relate to Sir Moi's misapplication of district support grants for his Kairuku-Hiri electorate in 2002.

Other charges include failure to acquit the grants, failure to pay National Housing Corporation rentals while receiving a housing allowance from Parliament, and failure to disclose his rental liability to the Ombudsman Commission in his annual statements.

Mr Manek says he is looking at the file to determine if the evidence is sufficient and credible enough to warrant a request being put to the Chief Justice for the establishment of a leadership tribunal.