Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Paul Paraka still trying to hide the millions he has stolen…

Paul Paraka still trying to hide the millions he has stolen…

Bank search begins

Task Force Sweep to check law firms’ accounts

By JACOB POK in the Post Courier

THE National Court yesterday refused attempts by Paul Paraka Lawyers to stop Task Force Sweep from executing a search warrant to look at the law firm’s bank accounts.

Principal of the law firm, Paul Paraka, appeared before the Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika with a number of lawyers representing others firms whose accounts would also come under scrutiny. Their attempts to set aside the search warrants, which were issued by the DCJ last week, was refused by the court.

Lawyer Nicholas Miviri from the Royal PNG Constabulary Legal Services appeared before the bench with Sam Koim, the chair of the Task Force Sweep.

The court ruling now enables police to execute a search warrant on the bank accounts of law firms allegedly implicated in receiving illegal payments from the Finance Department.

Mr Paraka asked the National Court to set aside the search warrants and for himself to join as a party to the proceedings initiated by the Task Force Sweep when it obtained the warrants. The court should address constitutional issues, he maintained and that the search warrants obtained by police was an abuse of process as there were pending applications in the District Court relating to the matter.

He referred to previous District Court orders which he took out that directed police to give him advance notice before an application was made for a new search warrant. 
The National Court was also asked to give him, as an aggrieved party, access to information relating to the search warrants which he could use to file affidavits in his defense.

Aggrieved parties affected by the search warrant have a right to appeal against such an order and the court should make appropriate orders, he added. 
However, Mr Miviri opposed Mr Paraka’s application and argued that it was unnecessary and is a “fishing expedition” as the police has the constitutional mandate to investigate. The aggrieve party’s substantive rights were also still protected. 
He further submitted that there was full disclosure of all materials pertinent to the case before the court issued the warrants and the application to stop the warrants was mischievous and misconceived.

Mr Paraka then produced a National Court appeal document before the proceeding arguing that there was already an appeal before the District Court and that the police should not have gone straight to the National Court. 
But Mr Miviri, in response, said they were not aware of such an appeal and it was the first time they heard of it. The national importance of the case was also highlighted during his submission with the police lawyer advising that Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was the complainant in the matter as he had directed on May 13, 2013 for alleged illegal payments to law firms to be investigated. It is understood Task Force Sweep is carrying out those investigations and the search warrants were obtained to ascertain whether criminal offences were committed.

Justice Salika adjourned the matter to August 14, 2013 for the decision but not before Mr Paraka asked if there could be a stay order on the execution of the search warrants until the matter returned to court.
But Michael Henao, the counsel representing the Bank of South Pacific (BSP), rose to advise the court that the search warrants were executed and the police now had custody of certain documents.

Justice Salika, in his ruling on Mr Paraka’s application to get a stay on the execution of the search warrants, emphasised that the court would not stop the police from carrying out its constitutional mandate to investigate allegations based on legitimate complaints and consequently refused to grant the stay order sought.

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  1. August 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    This is great.

    I was with the Commission of Inquiry into department of finanace as Senior Investigator, worked on the payments
    made to Paul Paraka and other assocaites totaling to millions of Kina.

    If need be I could be engaged to carry out and help in this task

    Shiraz Karmally

    Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2013 03:30:10 +0000
    To: skarmally@msn.com

  2. JUDY
    August 10, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    PNG are sick and tired and going by no comments,ol lian i les pinis and the same with me I m sick and tired of 37/38 years of thieving by all those idiots.

  3. Heitch
    August 16, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Why are so many people trying to prevent investigations into public funds acquired? if you obtain the funds in a transparent manner open the books for investigations….

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