Part 2: A system no longer working effectively
Violence mars election run-up in Bougainville

Part 1: Something not quite right in Paradise


“Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human society to flourish.” Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General

UNFORTUNATELY the attempted assassination of the Chief Ombudsman, and the lack of outrage at such an act, highlights a grave trend seeping into our law enforcement and judicial system.

It is a trend that, in the absence of strong resolve, has the ability to have major negative consequences on how we operate and how others see us over coming years.

In the last few months we have seen a disturbing trend of vigilante activity that strikes at the heart of our system. We recently saw the breakout of the bank robber, Kapris, and eleven others from Bomana prison.

It has now been alleged in the Sunday Chronicle that two government ministers provided K25,000 used in the planning of the escape.

The next installment of the Kapris matter involves a minister and a law enforcement chief seeking private “audiences” with the recaptured Kapris.

It seems these two gentlemen fail to understand that Boroko lock up is not Vatican City, and Kapris is not the Pope.

It is extraordinary that these gentlemen felt it necessary to step outside the normal legal processes during an investigation - on a “get to know you better” mission with a recaptured criminal.

Then we have the disturbing case of two Australian professional bankers arrested for doing heir job in seeking the legal repayment of outstanding bank loans of over K7 million owed by a former politician. Yes, you read it right.

The worst kept secret in town is that the two gentlemen are innocent, and nothing more than pawns in a bigger chess game. The intimidation of a raft of people from Gadens Lawyers, Posman Kua Lawyers, Deloittes, an MVL executive etc, who all had an involvement in this matter, is but another appalling episode in this laughable case.

Laughable, that is, only if we do not see the wider implications of the threat to an independent legal system.

The financial and investment fallout of this episode is enormous, irrespective of the wider implication for upholding the rule of law.

If banks and other financial intermediaries cannot recover loans from contracts entered into then the financial system is put at risk and investors become shy at dealing with a system that does not protect their rights.

Source: Editorial, Nasfund e-Newsletter, March 2010 edition. Nasfund is PNG's national superannuation scheme.


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