30 Dec 2011

PNG Prime Minister dismisses complaints over deportation of New Zealand businessman

4:18 pm on 30 December 2011

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, says he has no regrets about the deportation of New Zealand businessman, Graham Osborne.

Mr Osborne, who operates the Ela Beach Hotel restaurant in Port Moresby, is a close friend of Mr O'Neill's rival for the prime ministership, Sir Michael Somare.

The Post Courier reports Mr O'Neill saying Mr Osborne had been deported because he tried to access hundreds of thousands of dollars intended for PNG's bid to get a team into the Australian National Rugby League competition.

Mr O'Neill claims this money was being obtained under the guise of renovating the national stadium but was in fact to fund political operations.

But Mr Osborne, who is now in Cairns, denies the claims.

He says the accusations are absolutely totally wrong.

He says as a long time sports administrator in PNG, he would never do such a thing.