PNG PM urged to come clear on Paraka case

6:09 am on 3 May 2016

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has been urged to come clean before the courts on what he knows about a major fraud case.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill. Photo: PNG PM's office

Mr O'Neill has said that he has nothing to hide in relation to allegedly illegal state payments of around $US30-million to a law firm, Paraka Lawyers.

The probe into this case by PNG's fraud squad recently effected a series of high level arrests, including of the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister's lawyer.

However for around two years, Mr O'Neill has managed to obstruct attempts to arrest him, through the courts.

He has refused to be questioned by police, saying the fraud squad officers have been politically motivated.

But public comments from the Prime Minister that he knows who the true beneficiaries of the fraud are have caught the attention of the opposition leader Don Polye.

"He said well the real beneficiaries of the Paraka payments, he knows about them."

"And then I challenged him about them. I said well fine, that's very good that you know, but rather than doing a media trial, the best thing for you to do is to clear your name and name those beneficiaries in a proper trial, in a court of law."

Don Polye says the move by the Police Commissioner to sideline the fraud squad is legally, morally and ethically wrong.

Don Polye

Don Polye Photo: SUPPLIED

The Commissioner, Gary Baki, has launched an internal inquiry into the fraud squad, claiming it had breached police procedure on numerous counts, including using outside resourcing.

The Commissioner and his inquiry have the firm backing of the Police Minister Robert Atiyafa.

But the Police Minister Robert Atiyafa has expressed full confidence in the Police Commissioner and the inquiry that Mr Baki has set up.

"The minute we allow this to happen where you have a department like Fraud Squad being influenced by other than the office of commissioner, in terms of investigations or in terms of what they are legally bound to do, then that's not on," said Mr Atiyafa.