Posts Tagged ‘Peter Yama’

Disgraced judge Bernard Sakora resigns in latest move to avoid justice

February 12, 2018 6 comments

Disgraced Judge, Justice Sakora, has resigned to avoid facing court

Having seemingly already wriggled out of one corruption charge in the criminal courts, Justice Sakora has now resigned as a Judge [see story below] in order to close down formal misconduct investigations against him, by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, and a separate Leadership Code Tribunal, instigated by the Ombudsman Commission.

Sakora’s criminal charge was in relation to his role in preventing the publication of the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance which first revealed the role of Paul Paraka and his law firm in scamming millions of kina from the government. It is alleged Sakora received K100,000 from Paraka in return for granting the injunction. 

During the Finance Inquiry hearings, Sakora also granted an injunction to Messrs Gelu, Lupari and Lui, stopping investigations into their role in the Paraka scams. The injunctions were withdrawn after an appeal by the Commissioners.

Sakora was also recently heavily criticised by the Supreme Court over his awarding of almost K18 million in damages to Peter Yama and a further K5 in costs.  Both orders were revoked by the Supreme Court.

As the Leadership Tribunal investigating Sakora, which has been sitting since August and includes a New Zealand judge on the panel, will now have to be abandoned, the Justice Minister should reveal how much the Tribunal has cost.

Yet more tax payers money wasted while another white collar criminal walks free!

PNG Attorney General reveals judge’s resignation

Justice Minister and Attorney General, Davis Steven has revealed the resignation of senior judge, Justice Sir Bernard Sakora from the National and Supreme Courts.

In a statement today, Minister Steven says, he has advised the prime minister of Justice Sakora’s resignation.

The senior judge has given 25 years of service to the nation, making him the second longest current serving judge to the Deputy Chief Justice Salika.

Mr Steven says Justice Sakora resigned on his own accord, to take rest from public office.

Sir Bernard leaves a legacy behind in his strong punctuation of academic reasoning, and his grammatical flair sets his recorded decisions apart.

Minister Steven thanked Sir Bernard for serving the judiciary and the country as a judge.

The resignation of Justice Sakora effectively terminates formal investigations into misconduct allegations against him, initiated by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, and a separate Leadership Code investigation process, instigated by the Ombudsman Commission.

NBC News/ PNG Today

The Paraka Scams: Read the archives; Download the report

May 21, 2013 6 comments

In 2010 we published the details from the Finance Department Commission of Inquiry.

But those whole stole hundreds of millions of Kina have never faced justice.

Please take a moment to remind yourself of the enormous scale of their crime:

The Paraka scams – K780 million stolen from the people

The full Finance Department Commission of Inquiry report

Paul Paraka lawyers trying to block private email messages and censor access to the internet

Yama and Gelu conspired to steal K15.5 million from the people of PNG

Finance Sec Gabriel Yer led a triad whole stole K1.6 million

Zacchary Gelu and Mundua Kua tried to steal K1.7 million in another Paraka style scam

Isaac Lupari, aided by Gelu and Paraka lawyers, stole K3.7 million

Dept of Lands completely incompetent and dishonest

Soiat Williams and Zacchary Gelu conspired to steal K500,000 –

Tom Rangip and Pacific Paradise Foods unlawfully paid K14.85 million  –

Yama and Gelu conspired to steal K15.5m from the people of PNG

November 23, 2011 1 comment

Controversial businessman and former politician, Peter Yama, conspired with then Solicitor General, Zacchary Gelu, to steal K15.5 million from the people of PNG, according to the report of the Department of Finance Commission of Inquiry.

Both Yama and Gelu, together with State lawyers, Neville Devete and Lais Kandi have been recommended for prosecution by the police for their roles in the scam which involved an unlawful claim against the State which the lawyers failed to defend.

Peter Yama’s claim was based on his contention that for 9 years from 1990 he was prevented access to a piece of State land that he had leased for 99 years in 1988. Yama filed his claim through Poro lawyers in August 2002, demanding K38 million in damages.

The Commission of Inquiry found that Yama’s claim was entirely fraudulent in that:

  • he failed to comply with a mandatory procedural requirement,
  • filed his claim many years too late,
  • had no cause of action,
  • filed the claim in respect of a piece of land that DID NOT exist
  • did NOT have a lease over the land named in his claim,
  • filed the claim despite OWING the State K60,000 in rent arrears, and
  • NEVER served his claim on the Department of Lands.

Despite these numerous legal flaws, Attorney General Zacchary Gelu executed a Deed of Settlement in November 2002, granting Yama K15.5 million from the public purse.

The Commission of Inquiry reports details the many “serious failures” of Zacchary Gelu in the performance of his duties and the “ample evidence” of his culpability in authorizing the payment of K15.5 million which was “baseless and patently flawed”.

Police are currently prevented from investigating Yama and the lawyers because of a court injunction obtained by Paul Paraka and Zacchary Gelu challenging the legitimacy of the Commission of Inquiry.

The Commission of Inquiry was headed by Justice Sheehan with Justice Davani and Don Manua.

Although appointed in August 2006, the Commission faced numerous legal challenges from parties under investigation and interruptions to its funding so that in the three years from 2006 it was only able to operate for a total of 12 months and its final report, published in October 2009, only contains the findings from 45 full investigations with 212 more still outstanding.

The Commission Report relating to Yama and Gelu can be downloaded here:

Yama and Gelu

Still no action on the theft of K780m

November 21, 2011 1 comment

Eighteen months ago this blog was created to publish the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into corruption in the Department of Finance.

That inquiry revealed that over K780 million has been stolen from the people of PNG by people like Paul Paraka, Zacchary Gelu and Peter Yama.

The Commission of Inquiry presented its report to the then Prime Minister, Michael Somare in October 2009.

The report was presented to Parliament in February 2010.

But the report findings have only ever been published on this blog and there have been no police investigations, prosecutions or convictions against the people responsible for the theft.

The men who stole the K780 million are walking free enjoying the proceeds of their crime, while 4 women die every day while giving birth because of a lack of health services that don’t exist because people like Paul Paraka have stolen the money that would have paid for them.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he is committed to fighting corruption but has done nothing to implement the findings of the Commission of Inquiry.

So, despite the court injunction mysteriously obtained by Paul Paraka stopping any publication of the Finance Department Commission of Inquiry findings, we are  again publishing the Commission report and over the next few weeks we will republish a series of articles detailing some of the individual scams and the people involved.

We do this in the hope that one day the people of PNG might see justice done – and we might see better health and education services for all Papua New Guineans and not just those who use stolen funds to fly their relatives to Brisbane and Singapore.

Download the Full Commission of Inquiry Final Report here (warning file size 6mb).

Finance Inquiry findings back before the courts

June 27, 2011 2 comments

Lawyer Paul Paraka and ex Solicitor General Zacchary Gelu were back in court Friday trying to ensure the Finance Department Commission of Inquiry report, which heavily implicates both men in massive corruption and fraud, remains under wraps.

The findings of the Commission of Inquiry, which were handed to the Prime Minister in December 2009, have not been officially published and the people, including Paraka and Gelu, implicated in the theft of K780 million, have not been arrested or charged because the two men have a court injunction preventing publication or any criminal action against them. The injunction was granted by Justice Sakora in March 2010.

The State of Papua New Guinea is now applying to have the court injunction lifted after a successful campaign against the Prime Minister’s department by civil society groups determined to ensure the Finance Inquiry findings did not get buried.

The application to remove the injunction was originally heard by Justice Mark Sevua in June 2010, but he failed to give his verdict before his contract of employment was not renewed and he was removed from the bench.

The matter was then listed before Judge Thompson, but Paraka and Zelu have decided to challenge her impartiality and have applied to have her disqualified from hearing the case. Their argument is based on the fact that Thompson had a minor role in the processing of complaints against Paraka arising from his acting for the Eastern Highlands Provincial Government and in relation to POSF matters.

Legal commentators say that the latest moves from Paraka and Gelu are pretty much baseless as Thompson had little if anything to do with either of the complaints and did not participate in any decisions involving Paraka, but are part of the strategy by the two men to raise every possible objection so that the proceedings are delayed for as long as possible and, hopefully to stop the Commission findings ever been acted upon.

Judge Thompson has reserved her decision on whether she will disqualify herself from hearing the application to have the injunction lifted so we are really no further forward in seeing justice being done and Paraka and Gelu facing the full force of the law.

You can read more about the role of Paul Paraka and Zacchary Gelu in the theft of K780 million kina here:

The bogus land deals

June 13, 2010 3 comments

Here is the whole of the Commission of Inquiry report into bogus land deals – INVESTIGATION REPORTS- A. LAND

Warning: The file is 4.4mb so please check your internet connection is capable of handling a file of this size before you start downloading

Yama’s K15.5 million payout goes back to court

June 3, 2010 2 comments

On May 18 PNGexposed revealed how Peter Yama and Zacchary Gelu had conspired to steal K15.5 million from the people of PNG.

We are pleased to report the matter is now back  before the courts

The National newspaper reports Department of Justice and Attorney-General secretary Dr Lawrence Kalinoe has applied for a Supreme Court reference on the matter.

Kalinoe, acting for the state through lawyer Peter Donigi, is seeking to establish the validity of the payout and whether due legal processes were followed.

The reference application is seeking answers from as far back as Nov 28, 2002, when a deed of settlement was reached between Yama and the solicitor-general, and leading up to a National Court order on April 14 for the money to be paid.

The state is arguing that the deed of settlement did not follow the basic principles of governance, highlighting parts 2, 3 and 6 of the Constitution dealing with the national legal system.

The State had also applied for a stay on the execution of the April 14 National Court decision.

The reference application was filed last month.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and justices Gibbs Salika and Bernard Sakora yesterday morning heard, and granted, an application by Yama seeking to be included in the special reference proceedings.

The matter was adjourned to next Monday for Yama’s lawyer, Ben Lomai, to submit a notice of objection to competency of the special reference sought by Kalinoe.