24 Jul 2009

PNG Treasurer referred to public prosecutor over alleged double-dipping

12:40 pm on 24 July 2009

Papua New Guinea's Ombudsman Commission has referred the treasurer to the public prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office.

It's accused Patrick Pruaitch, who is also the finance minister, of double dipping into vehicle, expense and entertainment allowances.

The Commission has also accused Mr Pruaitch of failing to declare gifts, misappropriating district support grants in 2003 and failing to provide financial statements on time from 2001 to 2005.

An investigation by the Ombudsman into the treasurer's conduct has been handed over to the acting public prosecutor, who will decide whether grounds exist for an independent leadership tribunal.

Mr Pruaitch has denied any wrongdoing and told local media any legal proceedings would be vigorously defended.