7 Jun 2013

PNG finance minister defends lawyers' payments

12:29 pm on 7 June 2013

Papua New Guinea's finance minister, James Marape, has confirmed that payments made to three legal firms for outstanding fees incurred during the constitutional impasse of 2011 were legal and that there is nothing sinister about them.

This follows media reports that the Attorney General, Kerenga Kua, and the foreign minister, Rimbink Pato, had received money as partners of the law firms.

Mr Marape says the two were well established lawyers before they were elected into parliament and became ministers.

He says records of their payments were deliberately leaked to the media to discredit and undermine the government.