By PNG Echo
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.
But beware! An arrest is not a conviction and if these arrests do not lead to conviction, Namah will have effectively facilitated freedom from future prosecution just for his short term populist agenda.
There’s a good reason to show more caution than is being displayed by the ‘gung-ho’ Opposition Leader.
Firstly, it is the police (through the courts) that have sworn out these arrests after carrying out investigations. One is left wondering about the rigor of those investigations considering how notoriously bad they are at seeing arrests successfully through to convictions. Often they have scant evidence and what they have tends to slip through their fingers and go missing with monotonous regularity.
I would be more confident were it the Taskforce Sweep who swore out these warrants. The fact they have not done so, so far, is a cause for concern and suggests that the arrests, even if they are warranted, are premature and contrary to the administration of justice and will likely not result in convictions.
In reality, Namah’s effectively sabotaging the very thing he claims to be working toward. He’s facilitating the trio’s future legal impunity.