This picture of Sam Koim, the head of the now, in dispute, anti-corruption agency, Task Force Sweep, having a protracted breakfast meeting this morning at the Grand Papua Hotel with the British High Commissioner, has too many sinister connotations to ignore.
As things stand, with the issue of the legitimacy of Task Force Sweep still legally in dispute –Sam Koim is now answerable to no one. He is a loose cannon.
Is this disgruntled, former employee (?) keen to have his revenge on the system that rejected him – even if that involves sedition and/or treason?
One of the roles of the foreign diplomat is to foster friendly relations with the sovereign government by whose invitation they are in the country. Sam Koim is in a bitter court battle with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and other senior ministers and public servants – in fact the whole NEC – so, the question that this begs is why this senior diplomat, the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, would not recognise that this fraternisation could seriously affect cordial relations between the two governments?
That the British High Commissioner wouldn’t be aware of the perception of his actions is drawing too long a bow. After all, it is his job to know. But are the stakes higher than this – after all
A diplomat is someone who is appointed by a nation state to represent and protect that nation’s interests abroad.”
Nowhere is it stated, nor is it expected, that a diplomat has anything other his own country’s interests at heart – so what use is the petulant, former government employee (disputed) Sam Koim to him and British interests?
The Guardian newspaper in an editorial quoted the words of Charles Crawford, a former British ambassador to Sarajevo and Warsaw, who said:
Diplomats, spies and journalists are all basically nosy people. They all want to find out things that are not generally known. What distinguishes them in practice is the methods used. When it steps into impropriety and illegality you can just feel it.
The question is: would this meeting of Koim and the British High Commissioner foster such a feeling?
The Guardian goes on to say:
Approaching foreign nationals and asking them to work for your government is generally agreed to lie in the realm of espionage.
The possibility is ever-present in the diplomatic realm. It was wikileaks and whistle-blowers such as Edward Snowden that alerted the wider public to what the cognoscenti already knew – that the diplomat walks a fine line that often descends into espionage – as in evidence by the number of diplomats, worldwide, who have been expelled and rendered as Persona Non Grata because of it.
For it is the job of the diplomat to gather intelligence to aid his country’s negotiations with his host nation, a line is crossed when intelligence gathering lapses into espionage: when information was gathered quasi-illegally in order for it to be used for hostile purposes. Many have crossed that line and continue to do so.
As for Sam Koim, he has seriously breached national diplomatic protocol when he appeared, in Australia, on a national current affairs program, being in Australia ostensibly to obtain Australian governmental backing for his quest against the mandated government (a claim he denies – see http://www.pngecho.com/2014/06/24/koim-politically-incorrect/ )
And this is not the only overseas trip he has taken – always paid by the foreign entity itself, according to Koim. To my knowledge he has accepted paid trips to the US, Britain and Australia (are there any I’ve left out?)
So what was discussed at this long breakfast meeting (2 hours)? Were secrets revealed either purposely or inadvertently? What schemes were hatched and to whose benefit? Was the sovereignty of Papua New Guinea breached over the bacon and eggs (and who paid for breakfast?)