Former Prime Minister Assists COI from Sick Bed

February 23, 2021 - 1188 views

By Joshua Arlo

PNG’s founding father Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, despite being critically ill, is still willing to assist the Royal Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the off-shore Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) loan

 Commission Secretary Mathew Yuangu stated that today at 11am Sir Michael’s lawyer in the CoI hearing, John Kumura notified the CoI with a Statement from the Grand Chief himself.

 The Grand Chief, a witness assisting in this CoI, is one of many prominent political leaders, but current and former being invited to produce evidence before the CoI.

 He says the Statement (Submission) will be assessed by the Counsel Assisting similar to others tendered before public hearing commences.

 The Grand Chief, despite his concerned medication conditions last year, did appear at directional hearings to assist.

 According to Mr Yuangu, the submission also sets a guide into further investigating the matter in its directions hearings which are anticipated to reconvene in mid-March this year.

 The Statement was filed today, following previous CoI directions that witnesses file documents when notified of the availability of assisting overseas counsel and solicitors.

 Mr Yuangi revealed that since the CoI Chairman’s statement on February 16th announcing the appointment of a new Commissioner and three assisting Counsel from Australia, this should prompt other witnesses to file in their submissions also.



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