Papua New Guinea's prime minister and other leading officials have been referred by the Ombudsman Commission to a Leadership Tribunal over a controversial state loan.
In 2014, Peter O'Neill's government took on an $US1.2 billion loan from Swiss-based investment bank UBS to buy a key stake in oil and gas producer Oil Search, a major player in the burgeoning petroleum sector in PNG.
The commission found the prime minister failed to present the Government's proposal on the borrowing of a loan, from UBS' Australia branch, in parliament for debate and approval as required by the constitution.
Futhermore, Mr O'Neill was found to have misled the National Executive Council, or cabinet, into approving the loan, among other irregularities.
The commission's findings also implicate the former Finance Minister, James Marape, who resigned last month, defected to the opposition and is currently vying to replace Mr O'Neill.
The minister at the time, Mr Marape was found to have signed off the loan's approval despite knowledge of irregularities and "that his actions were improper".
Others referred for investigation under the Leadership Code over the loan by the ombudsman include government's chief secretary Isaac Lupari, treasury secretary Dairi Vele, and central bank governor Loi Bakani.
As it seeks to remove Mr O'Neill from power, PNG's opposition has been citing the loan among a list of questionable financial moves made by the prime minister on behalf of the country.
O'Neill seeks stay order on confidence vote
PNG's Attorney General has filed a Supreme Court application to prevent a vote of no confidence against the prime minister proceeding next month.
The opposition last week lodged a motion of no confidence against Peter O'Neill, after being bolstered by a series of defections from his coalition government.
However Mr O'Neill's government last week delayed the motion by having parliament, which had only just resumed after a long break, adjourned to 28 May.
The motion was to be vetted by a parliament committee at the end of this month, and if in order would proceed to a vote a week later.
But Attorney General Alfred Manaseh yesterday filed an application on behalf of the government to stay the motion being tabled in parliament's next sitting.
Mr Marape was nominated last week as the opposition's choice for alternative prime minister in its motion.