22 Feb 2011

PNG public prosecutor who launched case against PM is sacked

11:12 am on 22 February 2011

The public prosecutor in Papua New Guinea who launched a case of alleged misconduct against Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has been sacked for "not performing".

PNG's Attorney-General Sir Arnold Ahmet has announced that public prosecutor Jim Tamate will not have his contract renewed.

PNG's Post Courier paper reports senior PNG prosecutor Camillus Sambua, from the same East Sepik province as the prime minister, has been appointed to the position.

The sacking has angered the opposition who last year repeatedly tried to move a vote of no-confidence against the government.

Former deputy prime minister Sir Puka Temu said the sacking was highly political.

Outspoken opposition MP Sam Basil said it was a "sad day" for PNG.

In December last year Sir Michael stood aside to face a leadership tribunal for alleged misconduct in office regarding failing to lodge financial statements from as far back as 20 years.

But in January this year Sir Michael resumed office claiming he had simply been away on holidays.