30 Jul 2014

PNG's Paraka faces 32 charges

7:32 am on 30 July 2014

The principal of a law firm in Papua New Guinea is now facing 32 charges over alleged fraud involving state funds.

Paul Paraka was arrested last Friday and charged with a variety of charges related to defrauding the state of around 97 million US dollars.

The head of the independent anticorruption group Taskforce Sweep, Sam Koim, says some of the payments, totalling around 30 million US dollars, already relate to previous charges in 2013.

They were the subject of an investigation which resulted in the arrest warrant issued for the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill last month.

Mr O'Neill is yet to be arrested, and maintains his innocence, while the legality of the arrest warrant remains the subject of various court cases.

Mr Koim says although committal cases against Mr Paraka have been adjourned since February, his cases are to be listed later this week.