[ap-intact] INFO: Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (21 March 2015) - PNG, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji

[Facilitator’s note: With thanks to Annika Wythes, Luisa Senibulu, and Samita Singh of the joint UNDP-UNODC Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project, for these updates.]

PNG: Prosecutor seeks tribunal to hear MP allegations. Papua New Guinea's Public Prosecutor has written to the Chief Justice to appoint a tribunal to enquire into allegations of misconduct against Imbonggu MP and Works Minister Francis Awesa. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/269000/png-prosecutor-seeks-tribunal-to-hear-mp-allegations

PNG: Aid monitor says Australia ‘benefiting’ from corruption. The director of an independent monitor of Australia’s aid and trade policy says the Government must do more to combat corruption in Papua New Guinea, including bringing to account Australian companies involved in fraudulent land and business leases in the Pacific nation. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-06/aid-monitor-says-australia-needs-to-do-more-to-stop-corruption-/6285162

PNG: MP and Accounts Chair arrested on corruption charges. The MP and Public Accounts Committee chairman John Hickey has been arrested and charged by the police fraud squad in Papua New Guinea. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/268857/mp-and-accounts-chair-arrested-on-corruption-charges

PNG: Bail attempt by MP dismissed. In Papua New Guinea, a three-member Supreme Court bench has dismissed imprisoned Komo-Magarima MP Francis Potape's application for bail. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/268644/bail-attempt-by-png-mp-dismissed

PNG: Another Minister referred for misconduct. The Papua New Guinea Ombudsman Commission has referred the Minister for Public Service Sir Puka Temu to the public prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/268505/another-png-minister-referred-for-misconduct

PNG: Australia's anti-corruption work in PNG defended. A regional development expert says claims that Australian aid to PNG isn't helping combat corruption are overstated. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/pacific-beat/australias-anticorruption-work-in-png-defended/1424053

Solomon Islands: Boso trial soon. The permanent secretary for the Ministry of Rural Development accused of failing to furnish information to the Ombudsman office will be standing trial soon. http://www.solomonstarnews.com/news/national/6184-boso-trial-soon

Solomon Islands: Former Finance Minister charged. A former Solomon Islands Finance Minister and current MP for South Malaita, Rick Hou, has been charged for official misconduct. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/268501/former-solomons-finance-minister-charged

Tonga: PM Pohiva to pay legal costs in private action. Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva will pay costs to the former Prime Minster Lord Tu’ivakano, Princess Pilolevu Tuita and two other respondents after an unsuccessful criminal appeal, at the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court. http://www.pina.com.fj/?p=pacnews&m=read&o=70198540754ffb2948271db0fcb070

Fiji: Public Accounts Committee wants anti-corruption agency report.
Lack of documentation and mechanisms in place in government departments is a major cause of mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds. http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=297738

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