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PNG Foreign Minister Pruaitch to face Leadership Tribunal

Papua New Guinea Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Patrick Pruaitch, will return to face a Leadership Tribunal he has been evading for the last ten years.

In 2009, the Ombudsman Commission had referred Mr. Pruaitch, who was then Treasury and Finance Minister, to the Public Prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office.

PNG Foreign Affairs Minister Patrick Pruaitch
However, since the referral, the Ombudsman Commission had faced numerous legal challenges from Mr. Pruaitch, preventing the tribunal from enquiring into the leader's conduct.

The Supreme Court in Waigani recently dismissed an appeal by Mr. Pruaitch, against a decision of the National Court, to dismiss his referral to the Ombudsman Commission.

In a statement, the Ombudsman Commission says, this now paves way for a Leadership Tribunal to be reconstituted and start an inquiry into the case.

The court had also ordered that the Chief Justice take necessary steps to start hearing as a matter of urgency, and also ordered that parties are restrained from returning to the National or Supreme Courts on any preliminary issue until the Leadership Tribunal decides on the matter.

Acting Chief Ombudsman, Richard Pagen, and Ombudsman, Kevin Kepore, say the commission looks forward to recommencing the Leadership Tribunal.

NBC News / PNG Today

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