UBS loan

Eight eye witnesses fail to show up

The inquiry was scheduled for Tuesday 30th March and Wednesday 31st March, 2021.

Tuesday’s hearing proceeded with the statement of the Late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare; it was read by his lawyer, Sir Arnold Amet.

Other witnesses who failed to turn up include, Sir Julius Chan, Chief Dr. John Momis, Sir John Kaputin, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Sir Charles Lepani, Dr. Clement Waine, Dr. Lawrence Sause and Dr. Solomon Awili.

Aust solicitors to assist in CoI

The contract signing was held recently at the Government House between Governor General Sir Bob Dadae and Minter Elison Solicitors, represented by Michael Sullivan from Leahy Lewin Lowing and Sullivan Lawyers.

The contract is at a value of K18 million.

Ellison Solicitors will provide seven solicitors and other technical personnel who will support the Commission and the three overseas Counsel assisting the Commission.

UBS inquiry ‘interim list of witnesses’

In its sitting on December 16th, Commissioners Chief Sir Salamo Injia and John Gilmour QC made six announcements, and included among them was an interim list of witnesses.

The interim witness list appears in four parts, reflecting on the four parts under which the Term of Reference of the inquiry appears.

UBS CoI roadmap announced

Commissioners Chief Sir Salamo Injia and John Gilmour QC announced this in their first sitting since their appointment was formalised early this year.

The siting also marks the public opening hearing of the inquiry.

In its first sitting, the Commission made six announcements. These include:

I will resign if implicated: PM

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.

CoI into controversial UBS loan

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.

VIDEO: UBS Loan Zero Balance

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill made the statement on the floor of parliament on Wednesday morning when replying to questions from Sina-Sina Yongamugl MP and Opposition member Kerenga Kua.


Meredith Kuusa with more 



​State paid off UBS loan: O’Neill

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made the statement on the floor of parliament this morning when replying to questions from Sinasina-Yongamugl MP and Opposition member Kerenga Kua.

“The proceeds of the shares have completely paid off all the UBS loans, all the interest that is outstanding,” said O’Neill.

“There is no further obligation on the part of the State or even the Kumul Petroleum Holdings.”

The PM further stated that there is a residual value of close to K120 million that will be paid to the state and placed in the government’s consolidated revenues.

Ombudsman to inform court on next move

On Sept 2, a five-man Supreme Court bench found that the process involved in the referral of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for prosecution under the Leadership Code in relation to the K3 billion Union Bank of Switzerland loan was unconstitutional.

The case in the National Court was referred to the Supreme Court by Justice Collin Makail returned before him on Tuesday.

Justice Makail told the court the OC should immediately come back and advise the court on its position since the Supreme Court ruling in September.

UBS Reference hearing date set

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia in a directions hearing on Friday fixed the hearing date for the reference on Tuesday, Dec 13 before a three-judge Supreme Court Bench.

Parties in the case; the Ombudsmen Commission, Former Chief Ombudsman Rigo Lua and former Acting Chief Ombudsman Phoebe Sangetari, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, and the Attorney General were ordered to file their arguments by the end of November.

The Ombudsman Commission was also ordered to file notices of the hearing to the Prime Minister’s lawyer and the Attorney General.