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Lawyer Greg Sheppard denies allegations

LAWYER Greg Sheppard has described a secretly-filmed footage of him where he allegedly advised a person on how to make illegal payments as “entrapment” and “malicious and ridiculous”.
The partner of Young and Lawyers said the person had introduced himself as a potential investor in PNG but he was not genuine.
“His purpose was entrapment,” he told The National yesterday of their meeting at his office.
“He walked in off the street, I am advised on the 22 May 2014 – over 13 months ago – and asked to see me. 
“Neither he nor the firm he falsely claimed to represent were ever clients of this firm. I never saw him before and I have never seen him since. 
“No file was opened by us and no invoice was rendered to him or his fictitious company.”
Sheppard was responding to a secretly-filmed footage that was aired over SBS One on Tuesday night.
The sting was carried out by a non-governmental organisation and showed him allegedly giving advice on how to make illegal payments to a Papua New Guinean minister.
Sheppard said he was not aware of the footage by Global Witness until the broadcast.
He said he did not give the Global Witness operative permission to film or record their conversation.
“My meeting with him took place in the context of a general discussion, not a solicitor/client conference for legal advice on discreet or specific legal issues. 
“My comments on such occasions are by the very nature of the exchange, general, hypothetical and merely polite discussion.
“It is illogical to think, and it certainly never occurred to me that he was looking for advice on how to perpetrate some specific sort of illegal conduct.”
Sheppard denied allegations by SBS that he was involved in illegal conduct and maintained that his firm had always acted in accordance with the laws of PNG.
“The footage does not support any of those allegations,” he said.
“At no point in the interview do I advise this person to undertake illegal or improper conduct in PNG, or how to do so. 
“The allegations by SBS are a gross misrepresentation of what can be plainly seen to have occurred. The general tenor of my conversation during this footage is to unequivocally and repeatedly recommend to him in no uncertain terms not to have anything to do with the suggestion he articulated, that the days of that type of conduct in PNG were long over, and he shouldn’t even think about such a thing. I repeat those comments throughout the interview. I also made it clear to him in express terms that I was not advising him to take any action which may be illegal. 
“To suggest in the light of these facts that I was somehow involved in concocting a plan to execute a corrupt plan or perpetrate other illegal conduct is frankly malicious and ridiculous.”

The National/PNG Today

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