9 Jan 2015

PNG PM wins reprieve over misconduct claim

12:36 pm on 9 January 2015

A Leadership Tribunal inquiry into the conduct of Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister has been halted until the Supreme Court rules on constitutional issues relating to his referral.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. Photo: Supplied

Peter O'Neill was referred by the public prosecutor over allegations that cabinet didn't follow normal administrative processes when securing a 1.1 billion US dollar loan from the Swiss bank, UBS, last year.

But Mr O'Neill challenged the referral, saying the public prosecutor had no constitutional power to refer him to the tribunal.

The Post Courier reports the National Court yesterday referred the challenge to the Supreme Court to rule on whether the prosecutor has the jurisdiction to investigate and seek evidence from the Ombudsman Commission.

The court also granted Mr O'Neill an interim injunction restraining the prosecutor from continuing proceedings into the misconduct claim, meaning the Leadership Tribunal scheduled for later this month has been halted.

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