Source: The National, Monday, March 18, 2013
A MINISTER in government was on Saturday arrested and charged with bribery and corruption in relation to last year’s national elections.
Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Minister David Arore was charged in Popondetta following investigations into bribery and corruption against two returning officers in the Ijivitari and Sohe electorates in Northern, provincial police commander Supt Victor Isouve said yesterday.
Arore was released on K1,500 bail late Saturday and is due to appear in court today to answer to three charges.
The charges relate to official corruption, treating and bribery, Isouve said.
He said during the national election last year, allegations of bribery and corruption were made against two returning officers, Paul Kamani in the Ijivitari electorate and Elliot Damuni Tale for the Sohe open.
Isouve said a task force team, including CID detectives from NCD, was sent to investigate the allegations that led to charges against the two officers on one count each of official corruption, abuse of office and accepting gratification on duty.
“This case is still before the Popondetta Committal Court for a ruling on whether or not there is sufficient evidence to commit these two to stand trial in the next sitting of the National Court in Popondetta,” he said.
Supt Isouve said during the course of the police investigation, evidence implicated the MP for Ijivitari.
Arore was questioned by police over allegations he facilitated airline tickets, travel allowances, meals and lodging at the Grand Papua Hotel in Port Moresby for the two returning officers.
Isouve said Arore had voluntarily come to the Popondetta police station with his lawyer Tony Sua of Paul Paraka Lawyers, and police executed a warrant of arrest.
“The minister was then invited for a formal record of interview with the police,” Isouve said.
Arore, 39, is from Koruwo village in Afore and is member for Ijivitari.
Isouve said under the law, all three are innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.