CoI into controversial UBS loan

The Government will set up a Commission of Inquiry into the controversial Union Bank of Switzerland loan saga.

Prime Minister James Marape announced this in Parliament on June 26th while giving his statement on the Ombudsman Commission Report.

Marape stated that a full Commission of Inquiry will be conducted into the alleged improper borrowing of A$1.239 billion from the UBS and those implicated will be dealt with accordingly.

He said it would be an injustice to let this report collect dust in Parliament without affirmative actions and therefore, welcomed Police and other authorities to get copies, including Ombudsman Commission, to ascertain deeper all facets of this UBS Saga and to redeem for this Nation of any possible wrongs by corrective legal recourse.

The Prime Minister added that to give certainty on these issues, he is proposing to the Parliament that a Royal Commission of Enquiry be established to verify and validate claims in this report and to form the basis of any criminal proceedings against anyone reported here and to capture any other persons who may not be captured by this report as the Inquiry sees fit.

Former Prime Minister and Ialibu-Pangia MP, Peter O’Neill, welcomed PM Marape’s proposal and volunteered to be the first to testify during the inquiry.

According to the Ombudsman Commission Report, the conduct of O’Neill was wrong and improper when he committed the State to purchase 149,390,244 shares in Oil Search Ltd without prior approval from the National Executive Council.

The Ombudsman Commission therefore, recommends that O’Neill be referred to the Leadership Division of the Ombudsman Commission to be investigated under the Leadership code.

Meantime, Parliament will be debating on the report next Tuesday.

(PM Marape filepic)

Freddy Mou