29 Apr 2008

Lupari dismissed amid claims of interference in PNG finance department probe

3:12 pm on 29 April 2008

Papua New Guinea's Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari has been terminated, amid reports he interfered with an inquiry into missing Finance department money.

It is the fifth time the senior politician has been fired, and comes as the ongoing inquiry into the whereabouts of more than US$70-million missing from PNG's Finance Department begins again.

Our correspondent, Oseah Philemon, says there have been reports Mr Lupari had been putting pressure on the Prime Minister to terminate the enquiry.

"Last week, after the Australia Papua New Guinea ministerial forum, the Papua New Guinea Cabinet met. They made a decision to terminate Mr Lupari. Mr Lupari was one of two departmental heads who were supposed to have appeared before the inquiry last week, but they did not because the inquiry was abruptly terminated by the Prime Minister. The Government believed that he was also interfering with the process of the inquiry."

Oseah Philemon