The machinations of power: The Prime Minister’s arrest warrant

By PNG Echo

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Hon Peter O’Neill, the besieged Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill’s case to stay an arrest warrant has been adjourned until 25th

The adjournment was in response to the newly-appointed Police Commissioner Vaki informing the court that he consented to the stay and the seeking of consent orders to that effect.

The judge was not convinced of the legality of the move and declined to sanction the consent orders which would also restrain police hierarchy from interfering with junior police investigation (pending the taxation audit) unless he was convinced (by the police lawyer Mawa) that he had the power to interfere with the police functions. 

He gave him until the 25th to file submissions when the matter is due to be back before the courts.  Interim orders stay until then – there will be no arrests in that time.

Fighting on both fronts

And while the legal wrangling goes on unabated, the political machinations run parallel.

Firstly, there was the appointment of the aforementioned Police Commissioner and his lawyer, a surprise sprung on Nicholas Miviri, the previous lawyer, who turned up in court this morning to find he’d been replaced.  This mix up held up the proceedings for more than an hour.

Also, last night, there was the shock replacement of Attorney-General Kerenga Kua – a National Alliance strongman with the PNCs former Foreign Minister Ano Pala.

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Leader of Task Force Sweep, Sam Koim. Will he become another political victim?

There are also strong rumours that the Prime Minister has ordered the disbanding of the Independent Task Force Sweep and the sacking of its leader Sam Koim.

The Courts, yesterday, refused an application by Mr Koim to join the proceedings.  The  Judge ruled that the police, represented in the Task Force, were adequate as plaintiffs.
And I doubt we’ve heard the last.  But, can Mr O’Neill afford to turn any more powerful allies into enemies?

After all, once upon a time, Task Force Sweep did not have sufficient evidence to charge Mr O’Neill in the Paraka case – that’s until Don Polye, the disgruntled former Treasurer supplied it.

Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer is not a lesson that the Prime Minister of PNG is heeding.  It may prove his downfall in a country where corruption has so far been a low-risk activity.

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4 thoughts on “The machinations of power: The Prime Minister’s arrest warrant

  1. PM grew up in tribal Tari by a kiap father and uncles brought him up. In Tari man lies the spirit to fight to the last man.
    PO knew it was all coming. He appointed his tribesman as PNGDF Commander. Now that police top command have all want PO to answer the law and arrested new PO appointed police commissioner Garry Vagi my predictions follows;
    1. PM will bring in out of POM based police and pay them hefty allowances and the divide and rule tactics in the police like 2011-12 where 9 months political crisis repeat.
    2. In worse case the army will prevent police by physical confrontations. Thus army will be divided.
    3. Repeat of 2011-12 political crisis
    4. A new govt of THE Party, NA, United Resources, PDM, PPP, and current Belden Namahs Opposition and other minor and independents will consolidate.
    My prayer is for a God Fearing govt.
    From David

  2. Please png can we do something here to get rid of this Oneil govt before we all sink.Police n defenc. e department are all in hello as Oneil injects million of kins so we all country do something now like stop all operation and request Oneil to resign.

  3. peter o’neil should bow his head in shame and leave as he has done far enough damage to the nation. what is wrong with these politicians of png, how can they keep their head high esp, in peter o’neil and paul paraka who have stolen so much of the people’s money for their own use having properties left, right, centre, with coutless mistresses who are living in australia with stolen money – shame on them

    you all will pay for your evil deeds…!!!