Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tiensten ‘flees’ fraud squad

FORMER national planning minister Paul Tiensten avoided being questioned for his part in alleged questionable disbursement of development funds when he flew out of the country, The National reports.
The team investigating corruption in the National Planning Department failed to detain Tiensten for questioning at the Jackson International Airport.
According to Sam Koim, the chairman of the Investigation Task Force Sweep, Tiensten, who is the MP for Pomio, used an open ticket to fly to Brisbane.
Koim said Tiensten was served a letter at his Port Moresby residence last Wednesday to present himself at the police fraud squad office in Kokopo on Monday. He failed to turn up for a police interview over the corruption allegations.
He said Tiensten, who was in Kokopo yesterday morning, was again requested to go to the Kokopo police station at 10am but flew to Port Moresby and caught the flight to Australia.
"As a leader of this country, (he) was accorded all the courtesies normally bestowed on such people," Koim said.
He said Tiensten avoided "detection of his movements" yesterday.
Koim said a formal request was made to Air Niugini to report any travel made by Tiensten.
"Air Niugini failed to report Tiensten's movements allowing him to abscond,'' he said.
"Attempts to apprehend him for evading arrest at the international airport were not successful.
"Tiensten is wanted for questioning over the K10 million paid out of development funds to a business in Kokopo and several other matters."

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