24 Nov 2010

PNG's Somare takes exception at recent comments

3:42 pm on 24 November 2010

The prime minister of Papua New Guinea has hit back at ongoing allegations about him and his family.

In a statement to parliament Sir Michael Somare says no other family in the country's short history has had to endure such venom coming from the opposition, the media and other critics.

Sir Michael says his family has never taken anything from the country that didn't belong to it.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Sir Michael has faced staunch criticism surrounding the clandestine flight from PNG of the former Solomon Islands attorney general, Julian Moti, allegations over a failed attempt to shift PNG's allegiance to Taiwan from China, and is offside with the Ombudsman Commission. There are also claims that he and his wife kidnapped and beat up a prominent NGO leader. Sir Michael rejects any wrongdoing but says his family is subjected to unfounded claims and allegations on a daily basis. He says corruption now creeps too easily into the vocabulary in PNG. He says people in PNG are bitter and in the speech spoke of bottles containing betelnut spittle being thrown at his car. Sir Michael says the country has lost its sense of decency and it's a poison which could destroy it."