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Controversial lawyer forms new party to contest 2017 election


THE colourful and controversial lawyer Paul Paraka, 48, has launched a new political party, the 34th in Papua New Guinea, and announced his intention to contest the 2017 national elections.

Mr Paraka said the Grassroots United Front Party will transform people’s lives and communities through the political process and public service.

He said he felt that, after 22 years, he had reached a pinnacle in building a little known law practice in 1994 to one of the biggest local law firms in PNG.

He also said that throughout his private legal career he had given a lot to grassroots communities that this is the right time to take the next step to lead the grassroots’ cause in PNG.

When asked about continuing controversies involving him, Mr Paraka said he was not worried.

In 2013 Paraka was arrested and charged with 18 counts of receiving about $30 million in allegedly fraudulent payments from PNG’s Finance Department for legal work his firm claimed it had performed for the PNG government.

The following year he was hit with another 32 charges of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and misappropriation.

Paraka contests the charges and is out on bail.

“I started and grew Paraka Lawyers from nothing to be the biggest law firm in PNG through sheer hard work and God-given intelligence.

"I have been a victim of political madness and insanity, but the truth will prevail at the end,” Paraka said.

“I worked hard to build the law firm which provided jobs for over 30,000 young men and women over the years.

“I have been hurt and victimised by bad political leadership and bad political decisions, we have been victims of political destruction, the very same force that has destroyed the dreams and aspirations of many Papua New Guineans and all the grassroots population in Papua New Guinea," he said.


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Eddie Kavina

Believe it or not so many individuals are involved in this saga using Paul Paraka as cover up

Philip Kai Morre

Why has this case taken so much time to prosecute? If the national and supreme courts cannot do it, refer it to the village courts. They can hand down decisions on a win-win basis that benefits all.

Paul Paraka's case could be heard by village court joint sitting, similar to 3 or 5 judge supreme court. This would be are much more effective.

Philip Kai Morre

PNG has no laws to screen candidates for national election. there is no proper guidelines to screen individuals moral character. In PNG any body can stand for election as long as you are citizen. Thieves, corrupt people, psychopaths, illiterate who can never read and write, and paranoid people can stand for election. Even drug addicts have won elections.

We are making a mockery of our democratic system of government and corruption creeps in when we don't screen candidates. In the coming, 2017 election we want 111 moralists into parliament and we needed to be properly educated to vote for the right people.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Another thought - why form another political party? There are over thirty parties in PNG, most of them one member parties. At best they represent delusions of grandeur.

And they all say they represent grassroots people, which is usually a lie, they represent one greedy individual.

This guys looks and sounds like exactly what he is - a greedy man hungering for more.

Bernard Corden

An interesting comment Michael, which aligns with the Winston Churchill aphorism.......a nation gets the government it deserves.

Cultural change is often demotic.

Michael Dom

Land of Accepting the Unacceptable.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I think O'Neill signed (or not?) a letter authorising the payment to be made Paul, not the actual cheque.

But you make a good point, if Paraka banked it knowing it was payment for a fraudulent claim then he is guilty of a crime.

If he is still on bail in 2017 surely he can't contest an election - that would be ridiculous. But, then again, this is PNG we're talking about. No doubt if he wins he'll arrange for the law to be changed so the charges against him are dropped.

Australia didn't create a nation, it created a monster when it gave PNG independence.

Bernard Corden

Even Joh Bjelke Petersen, Russ Hinze, former Police Commissioner Lewis et al were not this stupid.

Philip Fitzpatrick

You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

Dracula wants to take over the blood bank.

We don't have a country to our north - just a giant comedy show.

Paul Oates

Well there can only be two alternatives.

If the cheque was honoured then the bank thought the signature was genuine. i.e. the PM did sign the cheque he now claims he didn't.

If the signature wasn't legitimate then Mr Paraka is the recipient of an illegal payment and the funds should be returned forthwith or if not, then with interest added.

Either way, an illegal act has been in operation yet no one including the PM is apparently prepared to take action. What does that say about either gentlemen being prepared to uphold the law?

So exactly which alternative is it Mr Paraka?

If you have received the millions in funds the PM says he didn't approve then you should give it back and demand the process be dome legally.

If the process was done legally then would you defend your PM's action in court or would that be a conflict of interest?

Surely after at least two years there's enough time for any lawyer, let alone one of your standing, to form a view let alone an opinion?

`Robin Lillicrapp

Maybe, he'll tell whether the all important signature is genuine?

Lindsay F Bond

People experienced in bailouts? So that's where PNG is headed?

Francis Nii

Land of expect the unexpected!

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