O’Neill questioned over purchase of generators: Police

Former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was today arrested at the Jackson’s International Airport in Port Moresby by police over his alleged role in the purchase of two generators from Israel.

Assistant Commissioner Crimes, Hodges Ette, confirmed that O’Neill was brought in for questioning this afternoon upon his return from Brisbane, Australia.

ACP Hodges said all COVID-19 protocols were strictly observed when O’Neill was brought in for questioning.

Police allege that:

  • O’Neill directed payments for the purchase of the two generators from Israel without due consideration for procurement processes as required under Public Finance Management Act;
  • The purchase of the two generators was not approved by the National Parliament;
  • The purchase did not go through tender processes;
  • There was no legal clearance from the State Solicitors for such payment; and
  • O’Neill directed the National Executive Council to convene and approve the payment of K50 million for the generators after the purchase was made.

Ette said there is reasonable evidence for misappropriation, abuse of office and official corruption.

O’Neill was still being interviewed at the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate at the time of the release of this statement.

Ette said the former prime minister will be allowed bail and will be expected to be quarantined at his own residence for the next 14 days after the interview.

Press release