Papua New Guinea's Solicitor General, Faith Keene Barton, has been sacked for "negligence" of duty that may have cost the state $US61 million.
The Post Courier reported that Ms Barton's sacking on Monday was for exposing the State to a summary judgement by the National Court, which was handed down because the Solicitor General's lawyers did not turn up to defend the case.
The court awarded the default judgement in a claim by MRDC and Petroleum Resources Kutubu, that landowner benefits had not been paid.
Ms Barton was reportedly among senior lawyers who attended a Mining and Petroleum conference in Sydney from December 3-5, instead of being in court to defend the State.
The Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Davis Steven said yesterday that Ms Barton was relieved of her duties on Monday and Tanuvasa Tauvasa was appointed acting Solicitor General.
While there are counter moves to reverse the decision to sack Ms Barton, Mr Steven has threatened to reinforce the decision by going to court.