PAPUA NEW GUINEA’S OPPOSITION LEADER Belden Namah yesterday expressed concern over the “sluggishness of justice” in the matter of the K71.8 million payout to Paraka Lawyers which led to its principal, Paul Paraka, being arrested and charged.
“His co-conspirators have been allowed to get off scot-free,” Mr Namah said in a press statement. “Paraka would never have received K71.8 million without the highest political consent. [He is] small fry compared to the big fish who have assisted in the processing of the payment.
“It is inconceivable to think that such a large appropriation of the people’s money would have been possible without approval from the Prime Minister, Minister for Treasury and Minister for Finance.”
Mr Namah, who claims to have “taken up the fight against corruption”, says Papua New Guinea is at the crossroads.
“This corrupt government has just handed down a record K15 billion budget whilst at the same time slashing the Justice Department’s recurrent budget by K52 million.”
Mr Namah also acknowledged a recent court ruling that lifted the injunction preventing the publication of the Finance Inquiry Report. He has called for speedy prosecution of those involved in the theft of hundreds of millions of kina of “the people’s money”.