WORLD

Former PNG PM, Peter O’Neill Defiant To Arrest Warrant, Says Arrest Is A ‘Political Move’

The former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Peter O’Neill has been issued a warrant for arrest over corruption allegations. ABC News reports that PNG;s police commissioner had released
16 Oct 2019 09:15
Former PNG PM, Peter O’Neill Defiant To Arrest Warrant, Says Arrest Is A ‘Political Move’
Mr Peter O'Neill. Photo: Aaron Favilla

The former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Peter O’Neill has been issued a warrant for arrest over corruption allegations.

ABC News reports that PNG;s police commissioner had released a statement last Tuesday that stated Waigani District Court has issued an arrest warrant on Friday that did not reveal any specifics, just citing ongoing investigations.

The statement read: “The warrant of arrest is now in the process of being served on Mr O’Neill. He will be processed by police, after which he has the right to bail and defend himself in court.”

It further stated that:”Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, so Mr O’Neill’s constitutional rights are being respected in that regard.”

A statement was released by the former PNG prime minister that said the new developments were a “political move”.

“I have not heard from police in any way, shape or form, this is the first time hearing [of it] but I will get my lawyers to get on to it and respond to it accordingly,” Mr O’Neill told ABC news.

The statement released by PNG police was also shared on social media.

It said investigations into this particular case involving the former prime minister have been ongoing and “the weight of the evidence that came to light before the police detectives necessitated an application to be made to the courts for a warrant of arrest”.

“The warrant was obtained upon the weight of the evidence brought forward by the investigators,” the acting commissioner of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary David Manning said in a statement. The Guardian News reports

“The warrant of arrest is now in the process of being served on Mr O’Neill. He will be processed by police after which he has the right to bail and defend himself in court,” Mr Manning said.

The Police had made contact with Mr O’Neill at the hotel, he was staying at, to accompany them to the police station but the former PNG Prime Minister had not complied with the requisition.

Mr Manning said that Mr O’Neill so far as refused to cooperate with the police.

Mr O’Neill resigned after seven years as the head of the Cabinet earlier this year following weeks of high-profile defections from the Opposition Government.

PNG had high hopes in 2011 when Mr O’Neill became Prime Minister of the nation.

He had established a Task Force Sweep, a multi-agency investigation into government corruption, but that turned sour when the former PNG PM became the target of its own investigations.

Feedback: jennis.naidu@fijisun.com.fj

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