By JACOB POKMEMBER for Pomio Paul Tiensten has again been arrested and slapped with further charges of misappropriation of public funds from the Department of National Planning and Monitoring, The National reports.
This time, he faces three charges relating to a K3.4 million project funding which he allegedly diverted to his family company when he was the national planning minister.
Tiensten is out on another K5,000 bail imposed on him by the Committal Court yesterday, which now placed his bail at K10,000.The Pomio MP was charged with one count of misappropriation, one count of official corruption and one count of obtaining money by false pretences.
He was arrested and charged by members of the Task Force Sweep soon after he made his first appearance at the Waigani District Court yesterday for the earlier charges.
He was interviewed at the fraud office and later taken to the Boroko police station.
Police alleged that in 2009, Tiensten, while the minister for national planning and monitoring, used his position to cancel a cheque payable to a Mesu Investment Ltd and redirected the cheque to Tolpot Services Ltd, a company which he was both a shareholder and director of.
He allegedly diverted the money under the false assertion that Tolpot Services had been appointed by Mesu Ltd and Karalai Plantation as project manager of the approved rehabilitation of the Karalai Plantation in Pomio, East New Britain.
It was alleged that the cheque was deposited into the company account at the ANZ Bank in Kokopo, East New Britain.
It was alleged that Tiensten and his family benefited from the funds.
Chairman of Task Force Sweep Sam Koim said as a matter of law, Tiensten was innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law