24 May 2014

PNG magistrate pulled in Paraka case

10:57 am on 24 May 2014

A magistrate hearing the case of the Papua New Guinea lawyer Paul Paraka, who is charged with fraud in relation to an investigation by Task Force Sweep, has been taken off the case after being seen in public with Mr Paraka.

The newspaper, The National, reports that according to Waigani court magistrate Cosmas Bidar, someone saw magistrate Pinnison Pindipia being picked up by Mr Paraka and reported the matter to the Attorney-General's office.

The Auditor-General has referred the matter to the Chief Magistrate, who has directed another lawyer to hear the case instead.

Mr Paraka has been charged with conspiracy, false pretence, misappropriation and money laundering relating to the alleged payment of over 29 million US dollars in state funds to his law firm.