25 Sep 2014

Gulf Governor guilty of misusing funds

11:20 am on 25 September 2014

The Governor of Gulf Province in Papua New Guinea has been found guilty of misusing nearly US$53,000 or 130,000 PNG kina from a LNG pipeline trust account belonging to the people of Kikori district for infrastructure.

The Post Courier paper reports deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika reached the decision at the National Court on Tuesday, saying Havila Kavo was dishonest in his application of the funds for personal use.

Justice Salika said what Kavo did was tantamount to misappropriation because he was paid out of a US$4-million trust fund allocated by the Government for special development projects in Gulf Province.

He said Kavo has no right and the Gulf provincial government has no right to convert the project funds to use at will.

Justice Salika told a packed courtroom at Waigani that it was a dangerous thing for a provincial administration to advise MPs that trust funds can be used as, and when they feel like.

Governor Kavo's arrest and prosecution followed a formal complaint by Kikori MP Mark Maipakai.

Kavo was told to return to court on the 6th of October for submissions on appropriate sentence.