Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill says he has taken out a stay order from the Committal Court against a warrant issued for his arrest.Arrest warrants have been issued for Mr O'Neill, Treasurer Don Polye and Finance Minister James Marape.
The warrants were sought last November by an investigator with the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate.
|Photo: Peter O'Neill has issued a stay order issued on his arrest, along with Treasurer Don Polye and Finance Minister James Marape. (AFP: Ness Kerton)|
They were issued after an investigation into government payments of millions of dollars to a Port Moresby legal firm.
"They are not (the) investigating officers of these files," Mr O'Neill said at press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
"That responsibility lies with the task force."
Papua New Guinea's multi-agency anti-corruption unit, the Investigation Task Force Sweep, charged one of the nation's largest law firms in October with offences including conspiracy to defraud, stealing by false pretence and money laundering.
Mr O'Neill says the Investigation Task Force Sweep is conducting a full investigation into the payments to the law firm.
He says the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate is not conducting the investigation.
"They have not given in to commands given by their superiors as required by a disciplined organisation like the police force," he said.
He alleges rogue police officers within the force are being directed by opposition leader Belden Namah to conduct a 'Kangaroo Court' in breach of proper processes.
Mr O'Neill has directed the police commissioner to start investigations into how due processes have been sidestepped.
"I have also instructed the police commissioner to investigate all parties including Belden Namah for his role, the way he goes about inducing and contacting police men and women to try and meet his political agenda," he said.
Mr Namah has warned Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga he will face contempt of court charges unless he executes the warrants against the prime minister and two of his ministers.
"I have given them the ultimatum to do so within 72 hours," he said.
"Failure to do so, I have instructed my lawyers to institute contempt of court proceedings against them because this is the high profile corruption case in Papua New Guinea."
Mr O'Neill says Mr Namah should stop trying to involve police in politics.
"Belden Namah needs to be a bit more responsible, he is an alternative prime minister of this country," he said.
"This is another attempt to try and stage a coup to try and overthrow a legitimate government."