KUA & PATO AS CORRUPT, OR WORSE THAN PARAKA.

by JOHN KAUPA

The current Minister for Foreign Affairs Rimbink Pato and the then Minister for Justice and Attorney General Kerenga Kua both conspired, or otherwise played the most dirtiest trick on the people of PNG when they paid themselves Millions ( over K8 million) of public funds. Today Kerenga Kua struts around putting on the robe of righteousness, seeking to fight corruption and publicly portraying himself as MR CLEAN on the public affairs of the nation, while his mate Pato plies the Australians with his silvery tongue.

Well what do the facts speak of these men? The Fourth Category of payments (that Mr Wafai refers to in a Statement in his own Defence to the then Chief Secretary when he was suspended for making payments to Paul Paraka) are payments made by Finance Department out of the Attorney General or Justice Department Vote that are directed by Politics and Politicians.

What work of equivalent value did Posman Kua Aisi Lawyers do by way of instructions from the State to deserve K14 Million they claimed of public funds?

The Answer is NONE WHATSOEVER !

What work was attributed for the payment sanctioned by Attorney General Kerenga Kua to his old law Firm? It was Kerenga Kua's own representation of the Grand Chief in Court during the impasse period.

You may scream, that was bloody politics! Yes you are correct! It had nothing to do with any work rendered for the State by which Mr Kua was engaged through normal brief out processes. Mr Kua acted for Grand Chief Somare personally.

Did Mr Kua knew he was sanctioning an improper and illegal payment of State funds of K5 Million to himself/ his own firm?

The answer is a very likely YES!

Now Kua may argue he left that firm and no longer had anything to do with that firm etc.

Well, not quite. A little bird tells me he was still a Partner of that firm on the record when that payment was made. In any case Kerenga's equity in that firm was conveniently transferred to his blood brother who is also a lawyer in that firm to hold for him and Kerenga. His brother never paid for the equity. He just walked into warm his brothers office and hold his brothers shares, just in case he loses the elections.

Kerenga Kua did act in conflict of interest in sanctioning a payment to a firm that he had an interest in, and he acted corruptly and improperly to sanction a payment for which there was no proper prior engagement by the State of his firms services.

In any case Kerenga Kua's actions are totally indefensible, and absolutely unconscionable as the amount charged was way way over the top. As Attorney General he had the responsibility to seek to have those fees taxed. But he failed that public duty in handing himself a big fat pay cheque that was not earned or deserved at all.

Rimbink Pato was no different.

He had acted for then Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal in the impasse. The value of the work done was not even in the region of K12.5 Million he charged. In any case it was Sam Abals responsibility to pay Pato, just as it was Somares to pay Kua. Why should the State and the public pay these two fat cats? Pato received K3.5 Million. That was wrong and highly improper.

Again, Pato will try to argue he left Steeles and he has no interest in Steeles as a law firm. Nothing could be further from the truth. My Pato is in the Steeles office every week. He operates other businesses through the same compound. He has people baby sitting his firm and he actively reviews files and deals with matters in the practice even while serving as an MP. Steeles is Pato.

Both Kua and Pato's firms were never engaged by the State through any procurement process recognized at law. Yet these two men, once elected to government, used their positions as Ministers to swiftly pay themselves; ie used their positions to benefit themselves.

It is my allegation that these men knowingly acted dishonestly, corruptly and they acted unlawfully. The payments made and received by their firms are a form of defrauding the State. They were unlawful payments. They also acted in abuse of their offices.

I intimated  in the title that Kua and Pato are worse that Paraka,( if there is such a degree of badness), and you may be wondering why. At least in the case of Paraka, he is upfront and he had a contract with the State. In the case of Kua and Pato, they had no contract with the State. Further, they have been the most vehement critics of Paraka. But all this time, the public have been misled. It is a case of the pot trying to call the kettle black.

There are various other blog articles and news paper revelations of Mr Kua and his firm receiving corrupt paymenst of upward of K4 Million and even higher sums from the Western Provincial Government. These can be subject of another article that can set the readers blood racing.

The time has come for the Police, the Public and corruption fighters like Sam Koim to really focus on the payments made to these two firms and the roles of Kua and Pato.

In all fairness, the forum is open for Kerenga Kua and Rimbink Pato to produce their documents and defend the propriety and legal correctness of their actions. After all they are national leaders and it is only fair that they now be given an opportunity to defend themselves openly.

Might I add that the Oneill government initiated a public Commission of Inquiry into these payments. Posman Kua Aisi lawyers hired QCs out of Australia to come and get injunctions to stop the publication of the results of the findings of the Inquiry.

I think it is a matter of public interest that the Report and findings of that Inquiry should be published for the public to draw their own conclusions. In any case public interest demands of a leader like Kua to stand up and have his say, rather than give a lame excuse or use the age old subjudice cover.

I also think it is hypocritical of leaders like Kua and Pato walking around as if they did nothing wrong. In my view, unless I can be faulted by Kua and Pato on the facts and views I have expressed ( which I welcome), they deserve to be prosecuted, and stripped of their leadership responsibilities.

[Readers please note, the facts used in this article are already in the public arena in various articles and media reports.]