22 May 2008

PNG PM takes on newspaper as fallout from Taiwan diplomatic scandal continues

7:47 pm on 22 May 2008

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister has referred the Post Courier newspaper to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee over its coverage of the Taiwan dollar diplomacy scandal.

Sir Michael Somare's referral was for the paper's front page story last Friday with the headline "Gubon spills Taipei beans".

The story ran claims by private lawyer Dr Florian Gubon that the prime minister authorised a 2006 trip to Taiwan over which Dr Gubon admitted receiving payment for expenses incurred.

Sir Michael tagged the headline as the most irresponsible and deceitful headline of recent times.

He says that despite his statement denying involvement in the scandal in which 30 million US dollars earmarked by Taipei as aid for PNG went missing, the newspaper chose to create insidious suggestions he is linked to the Taiwan deal.

The editor of the Post Courier Blaise Nangoi says they have no agenda, nor is it working with the Opposition on the Taiwan controversy nor any other issue.