PNG Power: Where’s the money (part two)

By PNG Echo.

The Fraud Squad is either grossly incompetent or corrupt – there is no third way.

The ineffective and ineffectual heads of the Fraud Squad
The ineffective and ineffectual heads of the Fraud Squad

companies related to Mr Tangit [CEO of PNG Power Ltd (PPL)]and his close relatives have received payment of K16 million from from PPL. Combined with the K15 million received from both the [East Sepik] Provincial (K10 million) and [Angoram] District Government (K5 million), it appears that Mr. Tangit and his close relatives have received K31 million through various entities for the period, 19 February 2009 to 30 September 2015.

As CEO of PPL, this represents a serious conflict of interests, even if that were all there was to it – but it’s not – the money has all been paid out, but as of October 2015 there was no evidence of even the commencement of the project referred to anywhere.

Highly confidential (and why’s that?)

The above quote was taken from a 35-page report marked ‘HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL’ of which I am in receipt.

It was commissioned as a result of questions being asked in parliament as to why, when funds had been allocated and deposited by Members of Parliament into the coffers of PPL for the Rural Electrification Project (RE Project), these projects were not completed, were behind schedule or significantly over budget. It was the July 2015 session of parliament.

In response, on 15 September, 2015, the Minister then responsible, Hon Ben Micah along with Mr Garry Hersey Managing Director (MD) and Chief executive officer (CEO) of the IPBC and Mr John Mangos, then Executive Director of PPL engaged an Australian forensic investigation company to look into allegations of corporate impropriety at PPL.

Déjà Vu

I have read this report in detail, with a pervasive feeling of déjà vu: I’ve heard it all before: it was in different times and different places but a very familiar modus operandi.

It evokes the non-existent Wasa Bridge in Kandep, associated with Don Polye and the non-existent community colleges – a fraud for which the Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare and certain members of his family have been implicated in the Singapore courts.

Coincidentally (or not?), the RE [non] Project also involves the Somares as the project was to be undertaken in the district of Angoram (Arthur Somare’s seat at the time) and involved the East Sepik Provincial Government.

The Angoram RE Project

It is the K15 million paid out to two contractors to which the report dedicates much investigation.

K10 million was from the coffers of East Sepik Administration that had been deposited by Sir Michael Somare into that account (it is not stipulated under what authority and from whence it came but the K10 million was earmarked for the project) and over K5 million that was received by the contractor from the Angoram District Administration for alleged variations to this non-existent project of which the investigators admitted finding no evidence  (and they looked)

The K10 million remained with the Provincial Government until the contracts to carry out the project were awarded and then it was transferred to PPL.

The report highlights the gross abuses of process that allowed vested interests to win the tendering process and commandeer the project without fulfilling the contract.

The tendering process

Implicated in just about everything – is John Tangit CEO of PNG Power whose ‘wantoks’ were the proprietors of the companies that won the four-part Angoram RE Project – three parts to PNG Engineering – the registered owner being Mr Richard Pii, brother-in-law of John Tangit and one part to Sepik Metal the registered owner being Mr Patrick Wolly Tangit, the brother of John Tangit.

john-tangit-ceo-png-power
John Tangit, erstwhile CEO of PNG Power Ltd.

The investigation team found evidence of John Tangit’s direct involvement with the tendering process on his desktop computer.

What’s more, these two companies seemed to have been made aware of the exact amount of money allocated for the project and their estimates coincided exactly (similar to insider trading). The three-parts of the project for which PNG Engineering won the tender were split into K3 million each, notwithstanding the very different parameters of each individual part. In other words the tender was neither accurate nor competent.

Further to the questionable estimates of PNG Engineering, the investigation teams noticed an assessment of 15/15 that had been awarded by the tenders’ assessment team to PNG Engineering for experience, a ridiculous score when the company was only five months old.

As for Sepik Metal, the other successful tenderer, they did not even gain the highest score in the assessment but got the contract because they came in exactly on budget – a little insider knowledge goes a long way.

As such, it could not be confidently asserted that either of these two companies were the best companies for the job regardless of conflicts of interest.

What’s more, on digging deeper into these two companies and their affiliates, many more links of John Tangit’s pecuniary involvement were uncovered.

John Tangit has been much more brazen even than Don Polye was when he awarded the Wasa Bridge contract to a crony – at least he didn’t ostensibly hand the contract to himself.

There’s nothing new here

Of the three issues, Wasa Bridge, Community Colleges and now the Angoram RE Project, there is nothing new.

In Kandep, an estimate K71 million has been allocated to the project and the contractors – and no bridge.

In 17 districts of PNG a whopping K156 million has been allocated and spent – and not one Community College to show for it. (“Leave the Grand Chief alone – he’s the Father of the nation,” you say– where’s that ironic font?)

In comparison, the K31 million gone missing from the Angoram RE Project is a mere bagatelle but a huge amount none the less in any context, but especially in one where many people exist on a couple of kina a day and women still die in childbirth at alarming rates through lack of governmental services (maybe in Angoram it’s from lack of electricity.)

This was brutally brought home to me recently when I heard that there was a drive to vaccinate potential mothers in PNG against tetanus. What on earth for?

In my world, tetanus is not considered a risk factor for birthing mothers. But it is where mothers habitually give birth on the ground in the dust and the dirt or the mud and the filth.

Yet here we are – talking of K31 million as if it were nothing – because everything is relative and the relationship of various acts of thievery is regularly and usually counted in millions in PNG.

To date, no one has found a way or a will to successfully prosecute these crimes. Why not?

Inadequacy of the agencies of the state.

For a journalist, once is an incident, twice is suspect and by the third time, it’s a trend.  And this mode of corruption is quite the trend in PNG. Yet it’s brazen, and not even particularly sophisticated.

What’s more, in two of these cases, there has either been a very competent Singapore court (Community Colleges) that has done the hard investigative work or a thorough investigation by a reputable independent investigator (Angoram RE Project).  As for the Wasa Bridge, if the authorities wanted some evidence of where to look – they could do worse than start with PNG Echo’s own investigation.

Yet it doesn’t happen, does it?  Why not?

If the agencies of the state, and the state itself, cannot recognise this brazen and obvious trend and put in place ways to successfully prevent and prosecute the crimes, then the agencies are either incompetent or corrupt themselves.

I find it hard to believe that in the PNG Power saga ,all Fraud Squad’s energies were put into prosecuting John Mangos for alleged visa infringements and an alleged K62,000 for which there was no viable evidence – Mangos would argue that it doesn’t exist – yet with all the credible evidence available to them – nothing has been done on the missing millions.

I re-iterate – the Fraud Squad is either grossly incompetent or corrupt – there is no third way.

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The PNG Power saga (Part 1)

By PNG Echo

It has been difficult to unravel the many and varied thrusts and counter thrusts of the cases of John Mangos and John Tangit when they were both working at PNG Power Ltd (PPL). So, perhaps it’s best to start with the current state of play and work backwards.

b57ded_30ee39e57f0c419497561345ba026257-jpg_srz_233_350_85_22_0-50_1-20_0
John Mangos

John Mangos was charged twice with various offences, firstly relating to his employment contract with PPL and secondly with the allegedly illegal payment to a third party amounting to K62,000. Neither raft of charges got past a committal hearing where the both were found to be lacking in evidence. They were thrown out. Mangos is no longer with PPL.

tangit-1-1
John Tangit

John Tangit, having been stood down then reinstated, only to be terminated and who is implicated in corruption amounting to millions of dollars (by an independent investigation commissioned by Kumul Holdings and undertaken by a reputable Australian firm of investigators) is now back as at PPL (unconfirmed) having faced no criminal charges whatsoever – scot free – for now.  How can this be?

From this information alone, it is reasonable to assume that the charges against Mangos were specious – and that’s certainly what the courts found when they threw them out.

Matthew Damaru
Matthew Damaru

It was Tangit that was the informant who commenced the second raft of charges against Mangos in a letter at the beginning of March this year, that he copied to various people, including the then appropriate Minister Hon William Duma, Paul Nerau, Chairman Kumul Holdings and Fraud Squad officer, Matthew Damaru – that stalwart supporter and enforcer to Sam Koim and the Task Force Sweep team.

So what would have precipitated this malicious and abortive prosecution?

Why would these Fraud Squad officers, who are lauded as exemplary and expert investigators by many, instigate proceedings against someone with so little and such flimsy evidence?

Sam Koim
Sam Koim

It just could be because the perception of integrity and competency is, in reality…well…just perception. The competency and the motivations of these officers has been seriously impugned by the fact that they, along with Sam Koim’s Task Force Sweep, have lost up to 50% of their cases at committal.  Is this incompetence or something far more sinister – because it is either one or the other, there is no third way.

It seems the malicious litigation against Mangos was all to do with the findings of the abovementioned commissioned investigation that Mangos, as Director of PPL, was about to act on.

You see, the Mangos’ arrest and charges strikes a familiar chord – there is a precedent . It has all the hallmarks of a pre-emptive strike to suppress information becoming public – as surely as the ‘arrest’ of Tiffany Twivey was.

NEXT PART: What Tangit did and how did he get away with it?  The case against John Tangit

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More Fraud Squad cases unravel

By PNG Echo

What do Attorney General, Ano Pala, Aloysius Hamou and Francis Potape have in common?

Hon Francis Potape - the latest case to be overturned through the illegal activities of the Fraud Squad
Hon Francis Potape – the latest case to be overturned through the Fraud Squad’s illegal collection of evidence.

Well, while the recent circus that was the Vote of No Confidence was keeping the whole nation entertained and distracted, in the nation’s courts, the three, abovementioned, gentlemen’s criminal charges were being overturned, quashed, and disallowed.

All three were cases being prosecuted on behalf of the Fraud Squad – featuring Messrs Gitua and Damaru.

These cases have been variously found to be incompetent, ill–conceived, or both as indeed was the case against Justice Sakora – thrown out too.

Lawyer Tiffany Twivey - case still to be heard
Lawyer Tiffany Twivey – case still to be heard

Other Fraud Squad cases still to be decided are that of lawyer Tiffany Twivey, John Mangos of PNG Power and the Prime Minister himself.

Given the precedents of Fraud Squad incompetence and overconfidence in their ability to influence the courts, that these cases should go the same way is more than likely (except if Justice Colin Makail is hearing them, that is)

The Fraud Squad are not conducting legitimate investigations into corruption but overseeing a witch-hunt.

It’s politically strategic

Messrs Damaru and Gitua of the Fraud Squad.
Messrs Damaru and Gitua of the Fraud Squad.

These rogue elements in the police force are aiding and abetting those with a political agenda to effect that agenda, illegitimately, through the courts and these three recent cases illustrate that all too well. See the details here

It’s the premise that those charged with an offence occupying high office should step down that excites the Fraud Squad and their political sponsors and urges them on to more spurious arrests.

Enough arrest warrants and they could empty the parliament and remove all the judges that they are finding unco-operative. (Was Sakora’s arrest meant as a warning to the others?)

Attorney General Ano Pala arrest warrant quashed- his actions were incapable of being criminal
Attorney General Ano Pala arrest warrant quashed- his actions were incapable of being criminal

Indeed, had the Attorney General stepped down on his arrest warrant being effected his electorate would have been without a member for the last two years and the national parliament would have been deprived of his services. And all for specious charges that held no water (as was found in the judgment).

But it is the ‘step down’ demand on the Prime Minister, in particular, that has culminated in the opposition seeking the court’s aid to force a Vote of No Confidence in the parliament – a vote that proved to have no chance of getting up – and the Supreme Court complied.

There is considerable debate in PNG as to whether the Supreme Court overstepped their jurisdiction and breached the separation of powers.  More money will no doubt be expended on finding the answer to that.

That is, more money than the compensation likely to be claimed by all of those who were burned by the Fraud Squad’s incompetence and misguided zealotry.

These men of the Fraud Squad may be presenting themselves as God’s police; occupying a moral high ground that they have personally defined, but in actuality they are nothing short of loose cannons and dangerous vigilantes.

Kerenga Kua, a prominent opposition member
Kerenga Kua, a prominent opposition member

The political opposition is looking to the nation’s courts to effect a political solution that they are incapable of effecting in legitimate, political ways.

God help us all, if the courts co-operate any further – and yet, the three decisions this week give me hope that the law will triumph over vested interests.

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Who is really defeating the course of justice?

By PNG Echo

Ano+Pala
Attorney General, Ano Pala – arrest warrant quashed.

Attorney General, Ano Pala, has today had the warrant of arrest, extant since July 2014, quashed by a unanimous three-man bench of the Supreme Court – consisting of Justices Higgins, Sawong and Batari.

The warrant had been sworn out by Magistrate Cosmas Bidar at the behest of Police Officer, Matthew Damaru.

The charge leveled was ‘defeating the course of justice’ in conspiracy with others including the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Geoffrey Vaki and their respective counsels notwithstanding that most of these people were not a party to the proceedings at the time. The quashing of the arrest warrant means that the conspiracy charges are also not recognised.

Pala’s alleged sin, in the eyes of Detective Chief Superintendent Damaru, was to apply for the State to be joined to a matter wherein the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister had filed proceedings to legitimize (or not) bills paid by the state to Paul Paraka Lawyers by way of a declaration of taxation.

Paul Paraka, becoming a peripheral comncern in the saga that bears his name.
Paul Paraka, becoming a peripheral comncern in the saga that bears his name.

This is a most important question because if the Paraka bills are legitimate then no offence has been committed.

It is a way of getting to the truth – proof of a crime should be at the very beginning of an investigation (clearly no one has told this to Task-Force Sweep or the Fraud Squad.)

The truth is something that Police Officer, Matthew Damaru patently did not want to get in the way of a good witch hunt

I mean, how could trying to ascertain the truth be an attempt to defeat the course of justice?

Indeed, the three learned judges ascertained that Pala’s filing of proceedings

…is an act incapable of being a criminal act.

Further, they emphasized their ruling was timely (and lucky for some) as had Pala been arrested and denied his liberty, he would have had ample cause for redress.

Mikail overruled

One of the alleged co-conspirators - Geoffrey Vaki
One of the alleged co-conspirators – Geoffrey Vaki

With this decision, the Supreme Court overruled the previous decision of Justice Colin Makail in the National Court that dismissed Pala’s petition saying he had no standing to bring proceedings until after he was arrested.

Think about it: what’s the point of trying to quash an arrest warrant after its already been effected? But that’s what Justice Makail, in his wisdom decided – yes it baffles me too.

But it was not only that the charges were specious that caught the attention of the learned Judges but also the manner in which the arrest warrant was effected.

The faulty warrant

Magistrate Cosmas Bidar
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar who signed off on the arrest warrant

The Judges maintained that

…the warrant ha[d] received such little attention that the learned magistrate [Bidar] did not even choose whether the subject was “him or “her”.

The judgment went on:

It does not appear that any grounds were suggested to the magistrate… [although] …[t]he need to consider alternative grounds is mandatory.

Yet, even had the magistrate considered the grounds (which the bench found he hadn’t) apparently ”

None of the grounds for considering arrest referred to…could reasonably have been believed to justify the arrest of the applicant.

And so the witch hunt continues.

Deputy Secretary (Treasury) Mr Aloysius Hamou
Deputy Secretary (Treasury) Mr Aloysius Hamou – exonerated – onlly doing his job

This is the second ruling this week that has found that the actions of the Fraud Squad have been cavalier.

For two years the Attorney General has had this charge hanging over his head – just because he lawfully sought the truth.

And then there’s the Deputy Secretary of Treasury, Mr Aloysius Hamou – described by all his work colleagues as a true and faithful public servant – who was sacrificed to the zealotry of these rogue elements in the Police Force who have become a law unto themselves.

He was also exonerated, found to be only doing his job in the purchase of the Israeli turbines matter – in fact, had he not obeyed the lawful directive from the NEC he would have been up on disciplinary charges.

I’m told Mr Hamou doesn’t enjoy the best of health, this episode, for an honest, fine and upstanding man, such as he, must have added a considerable amount of stress to his life, not to mention the loss of reputation.

When is someone going to stop these people?

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Is the judiciary overstepping its jurisdiction? The Damaru case.

By PNG Echo.

Damaru and Gitua - The Lone ranger and Tonto
Damaru and Gitua – The Lone ranger and Tonto

Did you know that the Court of Law has no jurisdiction to hear an Originating Summons concerning a suspension of a police officer in an administrative matter except as a Judicial Review?

In the case of Damaru’s suspension, and as far as anyone can tell, Greg Egan and other lawyers for Damaru have not filed for a Judicial Review. Indeed they would have had to have sought leave first and that hasn’t come to anyone’s attention.

So, if Egan sought declaratory orders regarding the suspension outside of a judicial review (and it looks as though he did) then the court has no jurisdiction to effect it.

It’s all to do with the separation of powers – it’s fundamental “trite law”, as one commentator put it (a principle (paradigm) of law so notorious and entrenched that it is commonly known and rarely disputed.)

But however fundamental the legal paradigm, it seems to have escaped Justice Allen David when he stayed the suspension imposed administratively By COP Baki of his officer Matthew Damaru.

And that’s not the only legal paradigm that was seriously shifted in this case.  Justice David heard the case ‘ex-parte’ …but I’m getting ahead of myself.  First things first:

Greg Egan playing 'I've got a secret"
Greg Egan playing ‘I’ve got a secret”

The Judge said that he wanted the parties to come to an agreement on the way forward, but lawyers for the State said that they couldn’t do that as QC for Damaru, Greg Egan, refused to share the court documents with them.

Really, one would think that the wise thing to do under these circumstances would have been for the Judge to have ordered that Egan disclose them so that the parties were both well-informed, enabling them to come to that agreement as to the progression of the case – but did he hell? No he didn’t.

He decided to hear the appeal, ex-parte instead.

This means that Justice David chose to hear the application without any arguments from the defence and without their presence. Why? It was totally one sided.

Now ex parte hearings sometimes become necessary when the opposing parties aren’t available, in order to expedite matters, but the parties for the state and for the police service were all there and the ex-parte route is certainly not one preferred by the courts of justice.

This notwithstanding, the Judge chose to go down (unnecessarily) the least judicially desirable path, thus denying the State and the Police natural justice – the whole thing was one-sided and opposing parties didn’t even know what was being argued.

COP Gary Baki - the courts making his job maintaining discipline tough
COP Gary Baki – the courts making his job maintaining discipline tough

One of the stronger arguments against (apart from the fact that the courts have no jurisdiction), is that to interfere with the Police Commissioner is contrary to the Supreme Court reference  – which recognised the authority of Baki (as Police Commissioner) over his men – but who cares, hey?  No one was listening.

It leaves me wondering whether the Judge is aware of the ramifications of his decision? I mean, the right of the Police Commissioner to have full operational command is fundamental to the stability of the police force – but all efforts to bring discipline into line by Baki is being thwarted – and by the PNG courts.  (Montesquieu would be turning in his grave.)

Besides, there is far too much secrecy surrounding all of this; firstly the Fraud Squad operating on high-profile cases covertly and without the knowledge of the Police Commissioner, then there’s the Fraud Squad and Sam Koim from Task Force Sweep receiving funding from an unknown, and likely inappropriate, source and now Greg Egan playing ‘I’ve got a secret’ with the approbation of a National Court judge,  It’s highly irregular and I’m wondering what they’ve got to hide, aren’t you?

Goodness, I know that sometimes the law is an ass, but this time I don’t think the law was necessarily followed, so who is the ass really…and how do you combat questionable judicial decisions and dubious protocol, because I’ve been dedicating far too much ink to it lately?

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The arrest of Aloysius Hamou: Of rogue cops, intimidation and base political motives.

By PNG Echo

It is very distressing that career public servants who have devoted their lives to the service of PNG are being used as pawns to get to the Prime Minister.

I wish I could tell you who said that, but I can’t. Although I can tell you it was in regards to the recent arrest of Deputy Secretary (Treasury) Mr. Aloysius Hamou in connection with the Israeli Turbines.

Court
Rogue cops? Vigilantes?

It is becoming increasingly rare that any of the good citizens of PNG are prepared to go on record openly criticising the shenanigans of Messrs Damaru and Gitua of the PNG Fraud Squad – and there’s much that needs scrutiny.

For even as the Prime Minister goes to some lengths to enact measures to rein in an ill-disciplined police force, Gitua and Damaru’s insubordination has been sanctioned time and time again by the PNG courts.

People are frightened – and so they should be – these two senior police officers are now a law unto themselves – vigilantes.

The disgraceful intimidation of Mr Aloysius Hamou – Deputy Secretary of Treasury

Deputy Secretary (Treasury) Mr Aloysius Hamou
Deputy Secretary (Treasury) Mr Aloysius Hamou

Mr Aloysius Hamou certainly was afraid when he was accosted at his home at 7.15 am on 28 January by police (they’d come the previous day early in the morning but the conscientious public servant had already left for work). And in spite of Lawyers engaged by Treasury turning up at the residence of Mr Hamou to inform the police officers that Mr Hamou was not compelled to accompany them to the police station and that he had no authority to provide the police with any Treasury documents (and indeed had legal impediments), the police were aggressively insistent.

Intimidation won the day and Mr Hamou and his lawyers took the argument to the Police station. At the Fraud Squad Offices Detective Chief Inspector Timothy Gitua was waiting

Mr Desmond Kipa - Twivey Lawyers
Mr Desmond Kipa – Twivey Lawyers

In spite of the fact that Mr Desmond Kipa of Twivey Lawyers informed Mr Gitua and other police that Mr Hamou was precluded, legally, from giving them information they interviewed him anyway. (Mr Kipa also gave them of copies of the Supreme Court order from SCA83 of 2014 which restrains the Police from investigating any matter concerning the Prime Minister and Police from harassing, intimidating, threatening or assaulting the Prime Minister’s lawyers) and it is well known that the Fraud squad was investigating the Prime Minister on the turbine matter.

Mr Hamou said nothing (at least one lawyer was with him all the time and can attest to that) and signed nothing – he was charged anyway.

He was charged with breaching section 92(1), which is a misdemeanour (a summary offence dealt with by the District Court) and is a charge that is NOT the jurisdiction of the Fraud Squad. Nevertheless the Fraud Squad had taken an inordinate interest in prosecuting (and persecuting) Mr Hamou.

The Officer in Charge of the police station was timidly reluctant to give Mr Hamou own recognisance bail as the amounts he said were “too large” and referred the matter to senior officers. Really? For a misdemeanor – an issue that should have seen bail granted as a matter of course?

It seems that Mr Hamou, a well-meaning and eagerly co-operative public servant; a man well into his fifties who had served his country for many decades and labored with a serious heart condition was being shamelessly used (and abused) to promote a base political end.

When you ask are there two sets of laws in PNG – think of this case before you answer.

They identified the weakest link

That’s the tip of the iceberg:

Mr Hamou was approached by the police quite unlawfully at the beginning of last year requesting that he provide Treasury documents concerning the funds allocated for the purchase of two gas turbines.

Mr Hamou, not appreciating that he had no authority to provide these documents (that are in the sole custody of the Secretary and confidential to the State pursuant to the Public Finance Management Act, and only obtainable by Search Warrant) happily acceded to their request. He had no qualms.

Secretary of Treasury, Dairi Vele was in Japan at the time
Secretary of Treasury, Dairi Vele was in Japan at the time

The documents speak for themselves: the Prime Minister asked Treasury to source funds from unallocated budget lines for the future procurement (purchase) of two gas turbines and Mr Hamou paid that money into a specific account to await the procurement process deputizing for the Secretary who was, at that time, in Japan. Treasury did not know who the seller was – neither is it Treasury’s role to know.   Treasury paid out no funds.

This is everyday procedure yet it seems probable that it is these documents, obtained by false pretenses, which form the basis of Mr Hamou’s arrest and charge.

What’s more, Mr Hamou, over the last seven (7) months, has been constantly badgered by the fraud squad – up until his arrest – to sign a statement implicating himself and others, which he has consistently declined to do.

Deputy Secretary Treasury Polum has also been badgered to provide confidential documents to the police to which they were not entitled – she declined.

The charge

  • Section 92 (1) says:

ABUSE OF OFFICE.

  • A person employed in the Public Service who, in abuse of the authority of his office does, or directs to be done, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another is guilty of a misdemeanour

While I have no intention of preempting the court decision, which is scheduled for 22 March, I challenge the reader to fit the actions to the crime and charge. Mr Hamou will argue he did nothing but his job – a compelling argument.

Shaking the tree

The Prime Minister may not even be up that proverbial tree.
The Prime Minister may not even be up that proverbial tree.

These rogue cops are merely shaking the tree hoping the Prime Minister will land at their feet, never considering that he may not be up the tree in the first place – in their zealotry (fuelled by what?) good men and true like Mr Aloysius Hamou are being used as cannon fodder. it’s a witch hunt.

 

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Magistrate Pindipia detained by fraud squad

By PNG Echo.

Port Moresby, 30 July: 10:54 pm
Magistrate Pindipia was tonight picked up by police from Appollo Restaurant, East Boroko, and taken to Fraud Squad Headquarters where he is detained and being questioned in relation to a document that ordered the release of Paul Paraka who, until the production of the controversial document, was in police custody on charges relating to a K242 million fraud.

The document that facilitated Mr Paraka’s premature release emanated from Mr Pindipia and is regarded by the investigating authorities as “highly inappropriate.”

Furthermore, a police spokesperson said that it is suspected that such orders, on the part of the magistrate, are not isolated or confined to this one incident.

Mr. Pindipia, at time of going to press, was still assisting the authorities with their investigations.

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