LEADERSHIP TRIBUNAL DISMISSES CASE AGAINST DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER


December 03, 2021 - 398 views

Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil has won his leadership Tribunal today. 

The tribunal cleared all misconduct of office allegations against him because the Public Prosecutor and Chief Ombudsman have failed to produce evidence to support the allegations. 

During the tribunal case, by chairman Justice Allen Kingsley David, and senior magistrates Mark Selef Kariu and Josephine Kilage, Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin had stated that the State had conceded that the charge relating to Basil’s failure to declare to the Ombudsman Commission the use of K150,000 of the Bulolo District Operation account could not be substantiated. 

The State had alleged that Basil knowingly and recklessly or negligently provided information in the annual returns for the period Aug 6, 2014, to Aug 5, 2015, that were false, misleading or incomplete by not declaring a receipt of K150,000 from the Bulolo district treasury operating account. 

However, Kaluwin told the tribunal that this charge was not part of the state’s evidence before the tribunal and had dropped one charge against suspended Bulolo MP Sam Basil at a Leadership Tribunal in Port Moresby. 

A decision had been reserved from last month to today, resulting in the tribunal matter dismissed.  

The Deputy Prime Minister has described these allegations as a ‘political witch hunt’ to oust him before the 2022 national general elections. 

Standing outside the court, Sam Basil thanked the Prime Minister for maintaining confidence in his innocence throughout the tribunal process. 

The Deputy Prime Minister said the decision is a demonstration of the strength of democratic process and the rule of law in Papua New Guinea. 

“Fair and due legal process prevailed in our country today, when the desperate political claims by sinister people were dismissed by the Leadership Tribunal. 

“It is very clear that they way this matter was raised and pursued by the Ombudsman Commission in a manner that is highly suspicious and warrants independent investigation. 

“I stood my ground when these people started making their political moves, and there was no way I would be intimated or coerced into backing down, because justice and integrity was on my side. 

“These claims were all fabricated with the intention to try and knock me out of politics before the 2022 General Election, and they failed. 

“It is now important that every Papua New Guinean knows the Leadership Tribunal has declared me innocent of all allegations made against me by the Ombudsman Commission. 

“The Public Prosecutor and the Ombudsman Commission failed to present a single piece of evidence or any credible witnesses to support such ridiculous allegations which were outright lies. 

“It is sad for our country that certain individuals in power today are illegally influencing important independent institutions such as the Ombudsman Commission. 

“I urge these individuals, and the heads of these important institutions, to remember the oath they took before taking public office and to refrain from playing such dirty politics. 

“Our Government has enabled whistle-blower protection that will enable any of the honest and hardworking officers of the Ombudsman Commission who are prepared to come forward with information relating to the way this case was illegally pursued. 

“Public Servants are being suppressed to not refer certain cases whilst being pressured to fabricate and refer hand-picked innocent politicians. 

“No one should be gagged or referred simply because we voice our concerns and take action for the good of the country. 

“We have every right to ask for transparency, we have every right to say no to corruption and we have every right to seek good governance. 

The Deputy Prime Minister questions the timing of his referral that came about with lightning speed during a time of political challenge. 

“I was abruptly referred on the first of December last year at a time that I exercised my democratic and constitutional right to debate matters of concern in the government. 

“This illegal behaviour will not silence me or my fight for what is right. 

“I promise all my fellow Papua New Guineans, the United Labour Party and Sam Basil has and will always stand for Transparency, zero corruption and Good Governance for the good of our great country. 

“Again I thank all my supporters, especially the workers of our nation, for always standing shoulder-to-shoulder with me. 

“May God Bless Papua New Guinea.” 

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