11 Sep 2014

PNG Govt defends non-payment to task force

12:14 pm on 11 September 2014

The Justice Ministry of Papua New Guinea has defended withholding the pay of the head of an anti-corruption unit, saying the unit has been disbanded.

Sam Koim, the head of Task Force Sweep, has a National Court order preventing the government from disbanding it, and reinstating its funding.

But the secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, Dr Lawrence Kalinoe, says Mr Koim was due to return to the ministry to work as a legal officer, and won't be paid until he does.

"If he does not come to work in the department of justice and attorney general and discharge his roles and responsibilities as a principle legal officer, he does not get paid. It's as simple as that."

Dr Kalinoe says the ministry has initiated disciplinary action against Mr Koim but that too is on hold pending the outcome of the court matter between Mr Koim and the government.

Sam Koim says he has instructed his lawyers to ask the National Court to enforce its ruling.