Leadership tribunal against PNG foreign minister stalled

6:43 pm on 16 July 2020

A leadership tribunal against Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Patrick Pruaitch has been withdrawn.

Patrick Pruaitch

Patrick Pruaitch Photo: Loop PNG

The Aitape-Lumi MP and National Alliance leader is due to front a tribunal in response to allegations of misconduct in office against him.

The allegations surfaced a decade ago and relate to double-dipping into allowances and the misappropriation of district support grants.

However the tribunal's chairman Justice Nicholas Miviri has been disqualified from presiding over the hearing by the Waigani National Court which found he had been a prosecuting counsel in previous matters in the tribunal.

The Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin, as a lawyer assisting the tribunal, argued that disqualification was appropriate to ensure that the MP received a fair hearing.

The newspaper The National reports that the matter will reconvene when Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika reconstitutes a tribunal with a new chairman, replacing Justice Miviri.