PNG government accused of lying about Ok Tedi funds verdict

By Liam Cochrane

The PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNG SDP) and the PNG government are involved in a bitter tussle for control of the $1. 4 billion trust, which uses money from the Ok Tedi mine to fund development projects.

“It is therefore puzzling to say the least that the PM ‘welcomes’ the Singapore court’s ruling in this regard, when the state has lost its application before the judge and is [in] fact seeking to overturn the decision on appeal,” he said.

As well as the Singapore legal action - which seeks to block the government’s removal of board members and its chairman - PNG SDP has lodged a case with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington DC.

In response, the PNG SDP launched legal action in Singapore, and the PNG government has filed a counter-claim with the Singapore Supreme Court.

Last week, Mr O’Neill welcomed a ruling on the government’s counter-claim, that he said prevented PNG SDP from drawing money from its $1. 4 billion Long Term Fund to pay for operational expenses.

In September 2013, the PNG government passed legislation that took control of PNG SDP’s 63 per cent share of Ok Tedi and revoked BHP‘s impunity from prosecution.

Two-thirds of the money earned from Ok Tedi is paid into a Long Term Fund for use after mine closes, while a third goes to development projects across guinea/” title=”View all articles about Papua New Guinea here”>Papua New Guinea.

Sir Mekere said the government actually lost the case, and the restrictions on accessing funds were part of a temporary injunction put in place while the PNG government prepares an appeal.

Read more here: ABC


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