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Posts Tagged ‘Peter O’Neill’

Government able to revoke SABL leases when it suits political agenda

April 27, 2016 Leave a comment
Prime Minister happy to endorse Gordon Wesley despite his conviction for election fraud

Prime Minister happy to endorse Gordon Wesley despite his conviction for election fraud

What does it take for the government to stand by its promises and revoke an unlawfully issued agriculture lease?

An impending by-election seems to be the answer.

The people of Samarai-Murua will go to the polls next month to elect a new MP. The by-election was called after sitting member Gordon Wesley was dismissed from office for bribery (ironically he was the first to nominate for the new contest and has the backing of Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill).

Now, in a blatant piece of electioneering, the government has cancelled three SABL leases on Woodlark (Murua) island and committed to giving the title to the land back to the landowners.

Meanwhile the people living in 72 other unlawful SABL lease areas wait in vain for the Prime Minister to follow through on his numerous promises to revoke the leases over their land and give them back their titles….

As Gary Juffa has commented – CORRUPTION: WHEN PNG ruling party uses public funds to campaign for candidates in by election who had been ousted by the courts for bribery!

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Portions of land to be given back to customary landowners

Post Courier: A LARGE portion of land on Woodlark Island, Milne Bay Province, earmarked for oil palm development has been forfeited to the State. It will be returned to the islanders, Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon said, praising the actions by the Lands and Physical Planning Department to cause the forfeiture. “The forfeiture of the titles of the three portions of land to the State is a major victory for the people of Woodlark and the Milne Bay Provincial Government. “We have been fighting for the land to be returned to the islanders since 2000, and today we have won,” Mr Philemon said. While on a brief visit to the island on Wednesday, together with Petroleum and Energy Minister Ben Micah, the Governor also relayed the news of the forfeiture of the titles to the people, who received it with much joy. “Your claim that you are people of an island with no hope and no choice changes from today. Now you have much to hope for and to choose. Your land will be returned to you,” he told the people at Guasopa station. Vitroplant Ltd obtained the titles of the three portions of the State-owned land on the island on 99-year agricultural leases in 2007 with plans to develop an oil palm plantation. The leases cover a total 60,400 hectares, or 70 per cent of the land on the island. However, after nine years and no developments, the islanders and the Milne Bay Provincial Government had lobbied for the land to be returned to the customary owners. The State, through Lands and Physical Planning Department, decided to issue show-cause notices on Vitroplant last month. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in response to the calls for the return of the land to the customary owners also gave directions to the Minister Benny Allen last year to make necessary arrangements for this to take place. The forfeiture notice was gazetted on April 14, effectively annulling the leases and taking the titles away from the company. The forfeiture will now be registered under the Registrar of Titles then the process of declaring the land back as customary land to the landowners will begin.

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1036 days and counting…

April 25, 2016 1 comment

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Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

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Supreme Court quashes Maladina conviction! But your Honor, Jimmy confessed. 

April 22, 2016 Leave a comment
Either Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is deliberately lying or he has been misled by his advisors...

Was Jimmy’s appeal more about the Prime Minister than Maladina himself?

In most countries when a powerful national figure confesses to their crimes, expresses remorse, and offers to pay back the stolen money, it is often considered a fairly clear sign they are guilty.

Not in our country. 

PNG Exposed reported yesterday that Jimmy Maladina’s conviction for misappropriation was recently quashed by the Supreme Court.

Yet it has gone unnoted in the media coverage, that Maladina actually confessed to the crime during the earlier National Court trial. 

This was confirmed when the National Court passed sentence: 

“The accused admitted freely that he had committed the offence. He stated that he is sorry for what he did. He further apologises and is remorseful especially to the contributors of NPF for what he had done that deprived them of their benefits which was to be enjoyed with their families and to his family for the sufferings, shame that he has brought on them for the last 17 years. He is making arrangements and is willing to repay the money owed back to the state”.

It was also noted in yesterday’s blog that Maladina had never been successfully prosecuted for his role in separate fraud involving Iori Veraga. In that instance Veraga was sentenced to six years hard labour, while the alleged mastermind behind the operation Jimmy Maladina escaped the charges. 

Clearly Jimmy is a lucky fellow.

But the question remains why would Maladina confess to a crime, and then petition a higher court to quash the conviction? 

A possible answer is provided by the Australian commentator Susan Merrell, who is a close ally of the PM’s clique. She remarked in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision: So, if Jimmy Maladina is innocent of misappropriation and the accusation against the Prime Minister is that he received monies from Maladina that Maladina had misappropriated in this matter, (NPF) then it stands to reason that this exonerates the Prime Minister of any accusations of impropriety’.

So, perhaps this appeal was less about Jimmy Maladina and more about Prime Minister O’Neill. 

Those familiar with elite business circles know Jimmy Maladina and Peter O’Neill were for a significant period married at the hip in their affairs. As a result, when those involved in Maladina’s schemes were successfully convicted in two separate criminal prosecutions, a certain bad smell clung to the PM, especially given that O’Neill featured heavily in the NPF inquiry findings (but don’t expect to find a copy of the NPF inquiry report anywhere, conveniently it was never made public!). 

Indeed, when Jimmy Maladina fled to Australia in 1999/2000, he informed the Australian courts that he ‘was fearful of violence at the hands of persons who suspected that he might be in a position to make serious allegations against them’. It was never specified who these ‘persons’ were.  

Read 85 extracts from the NPF inquiry report

This Supreme Court decision it would seem is just as beneficial for the PM as it is for Maladina, at least if we follow the perverted logic of the PM’s cheer squad.

Sadly, all of this comes as public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary is dropping. 

It is increasingly apparent that the judiciary is not immune to the disease of corruption – in fact there is a growing body of evidence and inside information that some judges are accepting bribes, to return favorable judgements. Of course, no one has suggested, despite the strange occurrences noted above, that either Mr Maladina or Mr O’Neill bribed/pressured the judiciary. 

Yet the growing inconsistent and at times illogical decisions being delivered by the courts, will fuel speculation and concern. 

Film on PNG corruption fighters faces legal hurdle

April 20, 2016 1 comment

The Opposition is the first feature-length documentary to look into the murky world of real-estate developers, their political patrons, and PNG’s unsung heroes fighting against them.

It focuses on the famous case of Paga Hill, which the public accounts watchdog claims was acquired by ‘foreign speculators’ through ‘corrupt dealings’. Allegedly PM O’Neill’s business partner and former stablemate, Michael Nali, championed the project in government before becoming a shareholder.

The company behind the proposed luxury estate at Paga Hill, PHDC, is managed by its Icelandic CEO, Gudmundur Fridriksson, whose PNG business interests have featured in numerous anti-corruption inquiries.

However, in a dramatic twist, the film may never be publicly screened, that is, if political matriarch Carol Kidu gets her way. Back in 2012 Dame Kidu came out fighting against PHDC. In vocal public statements she accused them of fraud and corruption.

PHDC then offered her a handsome consultancy deal, through her firm CK Consultancy Limited. Dame Kidu took the contract. All criticisms of the developer stopped, and she has become the public face of PHDC’s Paga Hill development, giving it a thin gloss of corporate respectability. She strongly denies being bought off.

While PHDC are busily courting Chinese partners – with the blessing of NCDC Governor Powes Parkop – it is alleged Dame Kidu is petitioning the Australian courts to stop PNG from ever seeing this documentary film. Evidence submitted to the Australian courts indicate PHDC are backing Dame Kidu’s legal case.

A decision on the case is expected this week.

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1029 days and counting…

April 18, 2016 Leave a comment

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There is still no sign of any action to undo the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging.

It is now a massive 1029 days since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

For almost three years O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised  the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill said in Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision supposedly cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

The PM’s former Chief Secretary has also admitted the leases are a scam:

“It is widely known that vast amounts of pristine forest have been logged to enrich a corrupt few people, while landowners have unknowingly lost their most valuable asset – their land”.

But, in contrast, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa, has declared the logging companies areeffectively above the law, He says the SABL logging is legal and he will not be taking action to stop it.

So, despite all the promises from the Prime Minister, no action has been taken to cancel the leases, landowners are receiving no support from the government in their battles and against the land grabbing and WE ARE STILL WAITING for the logging to be stopped.

For 1029 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

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O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1022 days and counting…

April 11, 2016 Leave a comment

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px-logo land grabbing

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

sabl cartoon

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1015 days and counting…

April 4, 2016 1 comment

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There is still no sign of any action to undo the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging.

It is now a massive 1015 days since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

For almost three years O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised  the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill said in Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision supposedly cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

The PM’s former Chief Secretary has also admitted the leases are a scam:

“It is widely known that vast amounts of pristine forest have been logged to enrich a corrupt few people, while landowners have unknowingly lost their most valuable asset – their land”.

But, in contrast, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa, has declared the logging companies are effectively above the law, He says the SABL logging is legal and he will not be taking action to stop it.

So, despite all the promises from the Prime Minister, no action has been taken to cancel the leases, landowners are receiving no support from the government in their battles and against the land grabbing and WE ARE STILL WAITING for the logging to be stopped.

For 1015 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

sabl cartoon

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