Today, Sam Koim, of Task Force Sweep, made an application to the Supreme Court to discontinue his appeal. The appeal was against the decision of Justice Colin Makail in the National Court that dismissed the judicial review of the disbanding of Task Force Sweep.
In finally accepting judicial defeat, and after three long years of court battles, Koim, nevertheless still sought to maintain control by asking the courts to direct the government and its agencies, by order, to surrender all Task Force Sweep’s files to line agencies and the Fraud Squad.
While the discontinuation was granted, the order to surrender the files, according to Koim’s direction, was refused.
This effectively puts control of the of the country’s disciplinary forces back where they belong – with the duly elected government of the day.
Therefore, the NEC’s 2014 decision to set up an interim office of ICAC under the direction of retired judge Graham Ellis now stands. I expect that the new office will take custody of those files forthwith and PNG will be welcoming the Judge back to its shores.
The recent revelation that PNG’s former Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, was named in a Singapore criminal prosecution as a recipient of $US784, 000.00 (K2, 540,000.00) has exposed Sam Koim’s position as a so-called anti-corruption fighter in PNG, as fundamentally compromised.
Since Task Force sweep was decommissioned by the NEC, Koim has been kept afloat by unknown private sources.
Is it Somare himself, or Somare’s political allies who are providing this funding?
It’s really time Koim came clean with the people of PNG about who is funding his operations. If Koim is, in fact funded by Somare or Somare’s political allies, this may explain Koim’s failure to prosecute or pursue Somare for this Singapore sling, wouldn’t it?
It might also suggest that the purpose of Koim’s relentless and well-funded attempts to remove O’Neill from his office as Prime Minister, is to install Koim’s pro-Somare benefactors in office, to protect him from prosecution for this crime?
Somare’s involvement in this scam, and the evidence required to conclusively prove it was provided to Sam Koim at the beginning of 2013, and Koim himself has publicly stated that he undertook some sort of official investigation . He declined to comment to the ABC reporter on whether or not Sir Michael had been interviewed by the Task Force.
The prosecution in Singapore was commenced in 2012, and Koim was provided with the evidence in 2013. Why has it taken so long for Koim to act in this matter? Has he even undertaken that basic, fundamental step of interviewing Somare in the investigation process?
According to Koim, he was unable to institute any prosecution in this matter because he was “defunded” by the O’Neill government. Again, given his pursuit of the current Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill through the courts of PNG since 2014, this is also hard to accept.
He seems to have garnered sufficient funds to maintain his home, his office and his own sustenance. He had sufficient funds available to illegally engage an expensive team of international and local lawyers, including Greg Egan, and Terry Lambert from Brisbane.
He had sufficient funds to orchestrate the unsuccessful prosecution of the Attorney General, a Supreme Court Judge, and several Police Commissioners, and anyone else who stood in the way of his contrived attack on the Prime Minister.
So Koim had no trouble financing these prosecutions, all of which failed. At best, they wasted precious resources (wherever they may have come from) which could have been more successfully spent prosecuting Somare.
Koim’s antics since 2013 have all been financed by persons unknown, bent on seeing O’Neill stood aside from the office of Prime Minister, at all costs, including the corruption of the prosecutorial and judicial systems.
Who would benefit from such a thing? Why, Somare and his political supporters would, of course. It’s time Koim revealed who is paying him.
Last week, in PNG, a judicial review, in the court of Justice Colin Makail, that was to decide the fate of International Task Force Sweep (ITFS) was vacated (adjourned) pending a motion by the defendants (the Prime Minister and the National Executive Council) that Sam Koim, Chairman of ITFS (plaintiffs), show cause why firstly, he should not be charged with disobeying a court order and/or sub judice contempt, secondly, why he should not be referred to the Lawyers Statutory Committee and thirdly why the Task Force Sweep case should not be summarily dismissed.
Lawyers for the Prime Minister and NEC alleged that a court order was breached when Koim held a press conference, released a press statement, posted on social media and took out a full-page advertisement in The National that discussed the case.
These are serious allegations as Sam Koim is a lawyer: an officer of the court and should know better.
So make no mistake: this is News – big news.
Then why did The National bury the details of the court proceedings half-way down page 6 of the next day’s (Friday’s) newspaper and the Post Courier chose not to run it until a week to the day after the decision and probably after some high powered complaints from concerned parties?
Besides, by the time the Post Courier published the outcome it was hardly ‘news’ anymore anyway.
This notwithstanding, there were two feel-good stories (or was it three?) run about Koim in the Monday edition of Post Courier, that is, after he’d been cited for contempt and before the Post Courier had found it necessary to inform its public.
However, not charged with sub judice contempt are the publishers of the Koim ‘report’: EMTV, Post Courier, The National, PNG Loop and the plethora of social media pages and blogs that carried the offending report.
It’s interesting that these news outlets were prepared to risk a charge of sub judice contempt to broadcast Koim’s message (they understood the risk) but did not report the court findings neither adequately nor in a timely manner.
This suggests that they are pushing a specific agenda – where are their ethics?
Recently, I met a former Papua New Guinean Member of Parliament and senior statesman. He commented how much he appreciated the media as “we wouldn’t know what is going on if it wasn’t for them.”
I also recall a particularly cynical statement of a colleague “if we don’t report it, it hasn’t happened.”
Do the editors in PNG, those who decide what stories are ‘newsworthy’ subscribe to that last principle rather than the first – because that’s what it’s looking like?
To that very worthy PNG gentleman, I apologize because news in PNG is sick and dying and out of the ashes is rising the promotion of a dangerous, self-serving agenda backed by unknown forces.
In an interview given to EMTV at the end of last week, Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill commented on a number of issues including:
the recent defections (?) to the Opposition,
the Grand Chief’s move to the middle benches (or the opposition depending on who you listen to)
and the UBS loan.
The Prime Minister reminded his audience that PNG, as an adherent to democratic principles, was governed by the virtue of numbers – and he had them
In fact, O’Neill has almost 60 Members of Parliament in his own PNC party, according to figures he quoted. With the PNG parliament having 111 seats, O’Neill’s PNC Party has the numbers to govern on its own if it so desires. I cannot recall another time in post-colonial history that that has ever been the case.
However, this government is a coalition government and holds the seats of around 100 members (once again according to the Prime Minister’s estimations). So even with Polye, Soso et al joining the Opposition, the opposition is still going to be largely irrelevant.