SG sacking linked to incompetence in PNG's Justice dept - Kua

5:26 pm on 14 December 2018

An MP and former Papua New Guinea Attorney-General has raised concern about incompetence within the Justice department.

Kerenga Kua

Kerenga Kua Photo: Loop PNG

Kerenga Kua's comment follows the sacking of the Solicitor-General Faith Barton-Keene for negligence of duty that may have cost the state $US61 million.

She was blamed for exposing the state to a summary court judgement regarding unpaid royalties to landowners in the Gobe oil project because her legal team failed to show up to defend the case.

Mr Kua said it revealed shortcomings right through the department.

"These are big amounts of money in the context of our country. So when you have cases like this on the boil, you cannot afford to take your eyes off it under any circumstances whatsoever. So the fact that she has allowed this to happen... instead of arguing about personal justice, she should bury her head in shame and disappear to the wilderness."

Kerenga Kua said Attorney-General and Justice Minister Davis Steven should also be held accountable.

Ms Barton-Keene has told local media she was considering legal action because she had not been given time to give her side of the story before being sacked.

She denied claims that her legal team failed to show for the court hearing last week, saying it was scheduled for this week as per instructions from the State.

Ms Barton-Keene has also accused the Attorney-General of distorting the amount which the state is liable for in this case.