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PNG PM fights arrest bid

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'neill fighst arrest bid.
PNG PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill is seeking a court order to prevent his arrest by police in regards to the paymentof K71.8 million to a law firm, saying he has done nothing wrong.
The National Court in Waigani is expected to hear today a petition from his lawyer for a stay order filed late yesterday to prevent his arrest by police.
Lawyer Tiffany Twivey and O’Neill’s Chief of Staff Isaac Lupari, lawyers, supporters and journalists waited for Justice Ere Kariko to hear the petition last night. But they were advised by court officials to return to court today.
Lupari said: “What we are trying to do is get a stay order against police trying to go about trying to get a warrant of arrest. The Prime Minister all the time was in the country.
“My understanding is that warrant of arrest is only issued if someone is running away from the court.”
O’Neill, who was in a National Executive Council meeting which dragged into the night, said the warrant issued for his arrest would be fully tested in court.
“I deny in the strongest terms the allegations contained in it,” he said.
“There are again basing the allegations on correspondence purportedly from the Office of the Prime Minister.
“The Anti-Corruption Task Force Sweep has conducted a thorough investigation and made its findings known, clearing me.
“It is very disturbing that certain individuals want to create instability by arresting a sitting Prime Minister based on an allegation that has not been proven or are before the courts.
“There are a number of proceedings on foot relating to the payments to Paul Paraka Lawyers.
“This include a proceeding instituted by the Finance Minister James Marape to determine the legality or otherwise of the payments to the law firm.
“We should allow these proceedings to be completed and their findings made known.
“Paul Paraka Lawyers was engaged by the previous government in 2002.”
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