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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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PNG Public Service Minister Charged For Witness Interference
Sir Puka Temu, out on bail, faces two counts of ‘judicial corruption’

By Junior Ukaha

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 13, 2012) – Public Service Minister and MP for Abau Sir Puka Temu has been charged by police for interfering with state witnesses in a case against him.

National Capital District metropolitan commander Peter Guinness yesterday said Sir Puka was charged with two counts of "corruption of witness (judicial corruption)" on

Tuesday.

He said the case against him was initially struck out at the Committal Court in the middle of this year after police failed to prepare their court files.

"The case was revisited after we got enough information to charge the member," Guinness said. "He was invited to the Boroko police station at around 9am and had his charges read out to him."

Sir Puka is out on a K500 [US$237] bail.

Police alleged he had tried to interfere with two state witnesses who were to testify against him in a civil case.

The two witnesses, whose identities were withheld by police, laid the complaint, which prompted the investigation and subsequent arrest and charge.

Sir Puka is believed to have appeared before the Committal Court yesterday morning.

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