On January 24, 2012, almost two years ago to the day, 3 million cubic metres of earth, estimated to be 30 metres high, and 150 metres wide covering an area the size of 14 rugby fields, fell 560 metres from the escarpment to the toe in Tumbi in the Komo sub district of the Hela Province
This week, Task Force Sweep (TFS) was scheduled to ‘interview’ Finance Minister, James Marape and Treasurer, Don Polye.
At this time, they would have been arrested for their part in the Paraka matter.
Task Force Sweep’s investigations have uncovered enough evidence of the pair’s alleged involvement to make this a certainty.
Following the Tiensten conviction, these arrests would have marked another watershed moment in the fight against corruption in PNG – a real indication that the tide of fortune was turning against corruption in PNG.
Proceedings to be heard today in the court at Waigani were withdrawn by Counsel for Hon Belden Namah, Alois Jerewai, in lieu of new proceedings that had been filed by him on behalf of Namah last Friday, that included the four members of the RPNGC.
Although Jerewai wanted to carry the costs across to the new proceedings, lawyer Tiffany Twivey – Nonggorr, acting for the Prime Minister, argued against, saying that the the proceedings that Namah had initially filed were not “proper” and that Namah should pay costs of all defendants including the four policemen involved.
More sideshows have been added this week to ‘Belden’s Big Top’, the (quasi) anti corruption circus that opened early in January with Belden performing the ‘Arrest the Prime Minister Dance’.
This clumsy dance was clearly self-choreographed, with Belden soon stumbling on his own amateur dance steps as the professionals (lawyers) proved to the arbitrators (courts) that the dance was unworthy.
And although, Blind Freddy could see his footprints all over the choreography, Belden chose to hide his light under a bushel and attributed it to four of PNGs finest.
It was a poison chalice that he’d handed the police officers (although it’s alleged that the pot was sweetened) because the four were suspended from their duties for disobeying orders. (They had been told not to dance with the devil.)
In the fight against corruption, one man, Sam Koim, of Task Force Sweep (TFS), has stood steadfast and true, in spite of the attempted bribes and the threats he’s had to endure in the course of carrying out his duties and notwithstanding that he has to account to the very people that he is often investigating.
The difference is integrity
Sam Koim has walked this particularly dangerous and difficult tightrope with amazing aplomb, foresight and maturity – without ever losing his sense of purpose – without forgetting the commitment to those he’s serving – the people of Papua New Guinea.
And it seems he is making progress, in spite of being headed off at the pass by the cowboy who is currently the leader of the opposition and his Barmy Army running interference at every possible juncture – and why? For Namah’s political gain.
Corruption fighters of PNG: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to establish a link between Tumbi Yari and MP Francis Potape of Komo Margarima in the Southern Highlands Province with Western Highlands registered PNG Constructions and its Director William Onglo of Chimbu . Here’s what I’ve got, now it’s over to you.
By PNG Echo
What do a Government MP, a senior public servant and a Construction Company have in common? If that question reads like the beginning of a corny joke, it isn’t.
The answer’s not even remotely funny. In PNG, these are some of the key ingredients for corruption.
PNG Echo is officially back to work after the Christmas break.
With so many things of import occurring in early January, it proved a bit of a ‘Clayton’s’ break. What happened to the usual practice of Papua New Guniean MPs exiting the country for the summer break and only returning in February for the first sitting of parliament (and sometimes not even that soon)?
Early January saw a dangerous political manoeuvre by the Opposition Leader (were the Casinos closed?) as he insisted on arrest warrants, sworn out at the end of 2013 (of which no one was aware), be carried through on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Treasurer, Don Polye and Minister for Finance, James Marape.
The arrest warrants cut across an ongoing investigation into the same matter being carried out by Investigation Task Force Sweep (TFS) and were contrary to the directions of Tom Kulunga, Commissioner of Police.
In fact the arrests were poised to seriously jeopardize the investigation of the TFS by pre-empting their inquiries. The arrests were ill-conceived and would have been premature had they gone ahead.
The arrest warrants out for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Treasurer Don Polye and Minister for Finance James Marape over the alleged facilitation of illegal payments to lawyer, Paul Paraka may yet prove premature and an actual hindrance to justice.
These warrants, sworn out late last year, have yet to be actioned and the Opposition Leader, Belden Namah, yesterday, broke his ban on talking to the mainstream media to insist that the Police Commissioner arrest the trio.
Belden Namah, in this repeated call for arrest, is toadying to the most base instincts of revenge and instant gratification. It is a populist approach and one done, no doubt, with his own waning political future prominently in mind.