Thursday, September 13, 2007

Motigate backfires on Somare

One of Papua New Guinea's National Court judges has described the Julian Moti cover-up saga as a local version of the United States’ Watergate scandal. Attempts to gag the media have backfired. And now PNG's main daily newspaper, Murdoch-owned Post-Courier, has today splashed a front page lead calling for the Chief's resignation. Speaking before quashing Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and three others’ application to nullify the entire proceedings of the PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) Moti Inquiry, Justice Bernard Sakora said on Wednesday their attempts to suppress the inquiry’s proceedings and final report conjured up images of the Watergate scandal. He said the application was only aimed at protecting egos and not in the public interest:

The taking of the defence portfolio by the Prime Minister and the suppression of the report, all conjure up images reminiscent of the Watergate Affair in the United States – those of us who were alive in the 1970's (are familiar with this). The Watergate Affair that led to the resignation of a president of the United States few steps ahead of impeachment. One can’t help but be reminded (that) the whole (Moti) saga is so reminiscent, for those of us who were around in the 1970s.

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