FRAUD CHARGE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF TREASURY OVER LR GENERATORS.

by BRYAN KRAMER

Deputy Secretary of Treasury Mr. Aloysius Hamou was formally charged by Fraud Squad yesterday (28/1/16) for allegedly approving and facilitating the unlawful procurement of K50 million to purchase two turbine generators. The funds were drawn from the Department of Treasury back in December 2013 at the direction of Secretary of Treasury, Dairi Vele acting on the instructions of Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Hamou was charged under Section 91(1)(b) of Criminal Code, (False Claims by Officials). The provision states that a person employed in the Public Service who makes a return or statement touching any such matter that is, to his knowledge, false in any material particular, is guilty of a misdemeanour. Penalty: Imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.

Current Secretary of Treasury Dairi Vele is also facing criminal charges in relation to the same matter after the District Court issued a warrant for his arrest in July 2015. To-date Vele has avoided formal charges after his lawyer Tiffany Twivey who also acts for the Prime Minister obtained an interim stay from the District Court.

After news of Vele's arrest broke on Social Media he purportedly departed the next morning to Cairns Australia. He issued a response that he was not fleeing arrest but on his way to an official MRDC Board Meeting in Fiji at the Pearl Resort. However Vele failed to attend the meeting and remained in Australia.

His lawyer issued a response that Vele would make himself available for interview at National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Headquarters upon his return back to PNG. However she instead rushed to the Courts to file three separate urgent applications seeking to prevent Fraud from arresting him.

 Her applications in National and Supreme Courts were never heard, she was able to obtain an interim stay in the District Court after Commissioner of Police lawyer Sam Bonner supported her motion.
To-date Ms Twivey and Commissioner's lawyer have managed to obtain adjournment after adjournment without the application being heard. It was reported later that the Supreme Court ruled that their stunt in obtaining a district court interim stay against Vele's arrest was deplorable and amounts to perverting course of justice. Justice Kirriwom referred them to Law Society to be investigated and charged.

Its my view the Prime Minister may also face arrest in the relation to the same issue after he wrote to Vele directing him to secure and transfer the funds to Bank of PNG for procurement and installation of the generators. However for now he can't be charged by Police following the Supreme Court's decision back August 2014 preventing his arrest. The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on an application moved by Fraud late last year seeking orders to dismiss those proceedings.
In the meantime the plot thickens following the arrest and charges against Deputy Secretary of Treasury.