25 Apr 2013

Call for tougher penalties to be imposed by PNG Leadership Code

7:15 pm on 25 April 2013

A Papua New Guinea public prosecutor, Pondros Kaluwin, has called for tougher penalties for leaders who breach the Leadership Code.

Mr Kaluwin made the call in his submission during a tribunal hearing misconduct allegations against Kandrian-Gloucester MP, Joseph Lelang, in Port Moresby this week.

Mr Lelang was before the tribunal facing four charges of failing to submit his annual returns

to the Ombudsman Commission between 2007 and 2009 when he was a public servant - the secretary for the Department of National Planning and Monitoring.

The Post Courier says the tribunal should impose a penalty consistent with the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Leadership Code, otherwise it sends the wrong signal and makes a mockery of the document.

But Mr Lelang's lawyer, Philemon Korowi, told the court that a lesser penalty was appropriate because the charges were not serious.

He says the offences should have been handled administratively rather than conducting a costly tribunal hearing.