I will resign if implicated: PM

Prime Minister James Marape will be resigning from his post if found implicated in the alleged controversial improper borrowing of A$1.239 billion from the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) loan saga.

Marape made this statement in Parliament when responding to questions raised yesterday.

He said the inquiry will begin soon and those implicated must face the full force of justice.

PM Marape went on and urged the Ombudsman Commission to go beyond their investigation and hold those implicated accountable.

“I am not fearful of this inquiry. If I am found to have conducted improperly when the inquiry is terminated, I will be the first one to resign from this office, Mr Speaker,” he said.

“But it is unfair for leaders who hold leadership positions to be paying high price; one of the critical questions I will be asking, Mr Speaker, is ‘at what point in time, did our Government germinate the idea of purchase of Oil Search share?’”

Marape stressed that the inquiry will dig deeper to the pre-dates of how the UBS loan came about.

“We need to establish not only leadership code breach and culpability that relate to leadership breach but the entire criminality need if there was any criminal offence conducted by anyone.

“And that inquiry will dive deeper into the entire transaction; money flow from UBS to Oil Search share – purchase of the Oil Search share. What happened beyond Oil Search share?”

PM Marape also said Oil Search must give an account of how the UBS loan transaction had transpired.

“The bridging loan in itself – there were many dynamics at play. It was floated in between. There were small parcels being sold. All these need to be looked at clearly to give you and me total confidence that our money was played out in the safest possible way outside of corruption.

“Lawyers were involved, accountants were involved, UBS itself; I as Prime Minister am not scared of UBS or Oil Search,” Marape said.

“After Oil Search what happened to that money? Where did it end up?

“So these are issues that will be brought so some of us do not carry the tag of ‘corruption’ all the time.”

PM Marape was also named in the Ombudsman Commission report during his capacity as the Minister for Finance as well as former Prime Minister and Ialibu-Pangia MP, Peter O’Neill, and others. 

Freddy Mou