Paraka Cleared

The Waigani District Court has dismissed the 22 criminal charges levelled against Paul Paraka in relation to alleged improper payments worth K80 million.

The decision was handed down today by Magistrate Ernest Wilmot and brings to end a long legal tussle between Paraka and the state.

After seven years of a long drawn out legal battle, the Waigani District Court today dismissed all 22 criminal charges levelled against lawyer Paul Paraka.

The charges are in relation ‘purported legal bills’.

The 22 criminal charges include; 10 counts of Conspiracy to Defraud, six counts of Stealing by False Pretense, three counts of Misappropriation/Dishonestly Applying, and three counts of Money Laundering.

In a detailed outline of his decision, Magistrate Ernest Wilmost dismissed the criminal charges, citing an abuse of process was conducted in the police investigation and that there is no evidence to support the crimes alleged to have been committed.

Paraka has embraced the court decision.

“The allegations that happened about seven years ago was not true, the Sweep Team lied, the Police attached to the Sweep Team lied, and the court in the end said it was an abuse of process,” said Paraka.

Paraka says the dismissal also clears Ialibu-Pangia MP, Peter O’Neill, and Prime Minister James Marape, who were also implicated in the investigation.

“An independent court of law declared that this (charge) has no basis. So the result of that is people who have been alleged to have been connected to me in the payment are also clear.”

With the dismissal of the charges, Parake states he will immediately institute legal proceedings against those that destroyed his name, his reputation and his law firm.

In December 2018, 27 criminal charges against Paul Parka were also dropped after it was ruled that the charges laid against him by members of the Task Force Sweep Team were an abuse of process.

Cedric Patjole