Paraka case an attempt 'to cause the downfall of the govt'

6:17 am on 15 June 2020

Fraud charges brought against Papua New Guinea lawyer Paul Paraka were motivated by a desire to topple the government, the lawyer says.

Paul Paraka

Paul Paraka Photo: PNGExposed

Twenty-two charges, including counts of money laundering, were dismissed last week by the Committal Court. The charges were laid in 2013 over allegations Mr Paraka was unlawfully paid more than $US20 million by the government.

The court reportedly called the case an abuse of process by the state for failing to provide proof of an illegal transaction. It said some of the state's witnesses had died and others had left the public service, making it hard to use their evidence.

In 2018, 27 similar charges brought against Mr Paraka were also dismissed.

Mr Paraka told RNZ Pacific the court agreed the charges were based on administrative issues and not criminal ones.

"What happened and what I was accused of was not something that was criminal in nature. It's really an administrative issue. The parties should sit down and resolve it by way of reconciliation and auditing," Mr Paraka said.

"It's all politically motivated.

"People were fighting amongst themselves as to who should be in government and who should not. It was seen as - my law firm being paid - as a convenient issue that can be played out aggressively to cause the downfall of the government."

The lawyer maintained his intention to seek revenge against those that brought the charges and levelled the accusations, including politicians and police from the now disbanded anti-fraud squad Task Force Sweep, who Mr Paraka described as, "a group of hit men".

"I will prosecute them constitutionally. Secondly, I will engage in private, criminal prosecution against all of them. Thirdly, I will sue everyone for damages for destroying the biggest law firm in this country."

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