Prime Minister Peter O’Neill should just hand himself in to police instead of abusing the legal system any more, former Prime Minister and Member for Moresby North-West Sir Mekere Morauta said today.
“Enough is enough. Judge Collin Makail’s words are crystal clear: the arrest warrant is not reviewable,” Sir Mekere said. “The request to overturn it by the Police Commissioner is ‘an abuse of process’, according to the judge.
“It is time to do the right thing and the responsible thing for the nation and for the Office of the Prime Minister. Go to the police and allow due legal process to take place. Justice will always prevail in the end.”
Sir Mekere said Papua New Guineans are sick and tired of Mr O’Neill’s legal trickery and his abuse of public office and the public purse.
He said it appeared that taxpayers are footing the Prime Minister’s personal legal bills, at a time when the nation is destitute.
“We see from official Treasury documents that Twivey Lawyers has been paid at least K5 million in legal fees since 2014,” Sir Mekere said. “A further K9.8 million has been paid for ‘Outstanding Legal Fees’ to anonymous recipients by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General in 2016.
“It is a matter of public interest that Mr O’Neill should come clean on his legal bills. How much has his legal trickery cost the people of Papua New Guinea? How much has his private law firm, Twivey Lawyers, been paid in total for its services?”
Sir Mekere also said the Police Commissioner, Mr Gary Baki, should now take immediate steps to effect Mr O’Neill’s arrest.
It is his duty, and the duty of every other policeman, to carry out the instructions of the original warrant.
“Members of the police force, from the Police Commissioner down, must do their duty,” Sir Mekere said. “Mr Baki has run out of excuses.”