PMs arrest warrant: Facts without context

By PNG Echo.
As this article goes to press, I’ve been reliably informed that the PM and his lawyers are still in court, presumably getting the arrest warrant stayed or overturned

PM - Arrest warrant
PM – Arrest warrant

When ABC Australia’s Liam Cochrane broke the news today that there was an arrest warrant out for the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in the Paraka matter, it sparked a flurry of jubilation in the social media as the pack that had been baying for the blood of the Prime Minister thought that this was their moment – their vindication – payback.

Cochrane’s article though was incomplete.

It failed to answer most of those six vital questions of a good news report: who what, why when where and how?

By using ‘passive voice’, where the object masquerades as the subject, Cochrane manages to avoid the question (in the first paragraph) of whose arrest warrant was served on the Prime Minister and who served it on him.

Sam Koim,  Head of Taskforce Sweep.  Did the arrest warrant come from him?
Sam Koim, Head of Taskforce Sweep. Did the arrest warrant come from him?

Was it from Task Force Sweep, or the Fraud Squad?

Did it have anything to do with the arrest warrant associated with Opposition Leader Belden Namah that was stayed following a court order and pending the outcome of the case a while ago? (The consent orders also covered the PM, Opposition Leader, Finance Minister and the then Treasurer.)

Which really brings us to the question ‘how’, if these consent orders are still in place could either of the agencies have attempted to affect an arrest? It also doesn’t answer ‘when’ this arrest warrant was issued which could prove to be vital given the litigation already in the courts.

In most contexts it wouldn’t matter but in the PNG context where there are competing agencies, (some true to their task while others not – some aligned with factions) it becomes vital.

A journalist colleague asked me this morning whether this arrest warrant was serious?

My answer was, if it has come from Task Force Sweep, it is deadly serious as they have all the evidence and would not take out such a warrant unless they thought they had an excellent chance of taking the arrest through to a successful prosecution.

If it is from elsewhere, I’m afraid I tend to agree with the Prime Minister that the warrant is probably politically motivated.

Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga Jailed, Bailed, Knighted and sought to arrest PM - all in a matter of days
Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga Jailed, Bailed, Knighted and sought to arrest PM – all in a matter of days

PNG Loop who is there on the ground believes that the warrant was issued last Thursday and that it had a covering letter from disgraced Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga – it was sent this morning. If that’s the case, it’s not from Task Force Sweep – but I wish someone would confirm or deny.

But in another twist, we’ve all seen the headlines screaming out “Jailed, Bailed and Knighted” and all in a weekend. They are talking, of course of Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga.

Well add to that – an arrest attempt on Prime Minister. Kulunga’s letter thus becomes a vital part of the question ‘what’?

Because, in this scenario, the Prime Minister fails to protect the Police Chief from the judiciary and the Police Commissioner fails to protect the Prime Minister from the law. (Kulunga and O’Neill have been said to be close.)

Are these warning shots being fired across the bow in a realigning of loyalties?

This case is more than the ‘facts’ – you have to understand the context.

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13 thoughts on “PMs arrest warrant: Facts without context

  1. Let the court decide. Allot happening in our Parliament. This types of issues distract MP’s from providing services to their electorates.

  2. TFS has no authority to issue arrest warrants – a letter went to the Commissioner laying out the evidence they had, and recommending on that basis that the PM be arrested and charged. Considering how much shit Sam Koim and his team have copped from anti-PM people claiming that they were in the PM’s pocket, and considering that the PM has repeatedly and publicly stated that they are an independent team and not beholden to him, I find it unsurprising but disappointing that the PM might now claim that TFS are “politically motivated”.

    • Ah Suzanne – in PNG, one day you’re a rooster, the next, a feather duster (and vice versa). However , I’m not sure that the Sweep team is behind the timing of this arrest (although I also read the letter from Koim to Kulunga). Nor do I think that O’Neill is referring to the sweep team when he makes the accusation of ‘politically motivated’. I believe that timing is a crucial factor in this saga – especially with the almost concurrency of the sentencing of Kulunga.

    • Since publication I too have read the letter from Koim to Kulunga. I believe that the new evidence may be from Polye. Would be interested to know the exact details. I guess they will come out in time.

  3. Papua New Guineans are aware now that , the news received the Forensic Examination Report from the Sydney based Forensic Document Services Pty Ltd confirming that the signature on the letter dated 24th January 2012 bearing the Prime Minister’s letterhead, name and signature directing payments to Paul Paraka Lawyers is PM O’Neill’s.” Prior to that under his watch as treasure during Somare regime have order 30 million kina paid to Paraka Law firms. Peter Onil seem to be smart but his days are surely numbered. He can’t escape from the truth.

  4. I prayed for any leader of PNG causing stomach ulchers are to be removed by our God. We as a Christian nation do not deserve the present dishonest leadership. I know if PM is one man we the 7 million need only God Fearing leaders in PNG.

  5. The Prime Minister is a very smart person. When he was the opposition leader in 2003 or back then, he kept quiet and said anything against the Somare Government, the following term when Somare formed government he was finance Minister. He kept quiet as a good opposition leader because the government was pushing for NPF commission of enquiry to prosecute fraudsters and Peter Oneil was a suspect. Now that he is the Prime Minister his actions are similar to such a person. He is committing and spending PNG money in the tens of millions eg. K100 M loan for radio communication in rural farmers where the green revolution crap never worked out (Finance minister then>), K100 M for a housing project that never eventuated after 1 Year ( I hope that money was not channeled to a Share Market trading or IBD for interest) such huge money if invested could earn at least K10M but we got the money back and the land (state land ??) …..back??, K3 B UBS loan is it necessary for the state to commit for a mere 10% stake?, I think someone just made millions is Shares when PNG government invested K3 B and left the loan repayment bill for myself, my children and other Papua New Guineans to foot. Thank you Dr Susan for the opportunity to comment.

  6. Just to add on to what PNG echo says about having Polye to have provided some evidence. I just heard that Polye is arriving from Sydney this afternoon and claims that he has all the evidence and will talk to appropriate authority to prosecute the PM. If this is true then I agree that its Polye’s payback time and all events that has occurred maybe influenced by people like Polye Duma and Kuluga.

    The other point is that on the letter written to Kuluga by Sam Koim, it stated that during the investigation they found Don Polye and Secretary Gibson played part in the scandal and were found guilty. Why isn’t that Don and Gibson locked and maybe PM after a weeks time. Why PM first?

    • These are good questions, of which there are so many – hope some answers are furnished soon.

  7. Did you consider the fact that a Sydney-based forensic firm had established beyond doubt that the signature on the Paraka letter was Peter O’Neill’s? And if proven to be so, shouldn’t this form the basis for a fraud case and that shouldn’t the Fraud Squad be the initiator of the warrant of arrest?

    David

  8. From all that I have read, I can only deduce that Don Polye, William Duma and some other major forces are behind this turn of events. NEC is not Peter O’Neil’s village football team, where he can replace his uncles and nephews at will. These are respected national leaders… and to be displaced at will from Senior Ministeries insults “Melanesian Big Man” ego and pride. PM can play around with the ordinary Papua New Guineans but this time, I believe he is fighting with Titans like himself… Titans who have serious scores to settle. Will be interesting to see how all these unfolds…

    • Jackson, I agree with your analysis. It’s not a good idea to turn powerful allies into enemies. It was Polye’s evidence that convinced TFS that they had a case, I believe. O’Neill has been busy this morning and last night making even more. Kua’s gone and there are rumours regarding the disbanding of TFS