Posted By Staff Reporter
Today I was briefed that the Principal of NiuAge Lawyers, Geroge Lau, who was the former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s Lawyer, formally arrested and charged by officers with the National Fraud & Anti-corruption for offences of forgery and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The charges relate to allegations that Mr. Lau colluded with a senior officer working with the District Court registry to forge a defective warrant of arrest as well as information which O’Neill relied on to obtain the stay order on the warrant of arrest from the National Court. Both the officer and Mr. Lau were arrested and charged for the same offences.
In a rather absurd twist, in response to charges being laid against his lawyer, O’Neill released a press statement to announce his lawyer filed a criminal complaint against myself as the Minister for Police, alleging I forged and falsified the defective warrant against him, asking I be criminally investigated and charged the exact same charges Mr. Lau was charged with.
O’Neill claims that the affidavit filed by Detective Senior Constable of the NCD Fraud Squad, Kila Tali to support his withdrawal of the arrest warrant, stated the arrest warrant was defective.
This claim by O’Neill is false and misleading. Firstly, the officer was a Member of CID Boroko Police Station and not the NCD Fraud Squad. Secondly, nowhere in his sworn affidavit did he state the original warrant of arrest issued by the District Court was defective.
I’m informed the decision to withdraw the warrant was based on legal advice on account that O’Neill and lawyers relied on a fake warrant of arrest to mislead the National Court to grant a stay and that it would be best for Police to simply withdraw it to avoid the matter being dragged out in the courts.
O’Neill’s claims are misconceived and deceitful; the officer informed the District Court that O’Neill and his lawyers obtained a stay against the warrant of arrest claiming it was defective.
“Peter O’Neill and his lawyers perceived this current warrant was defective” his statement said.
Further still, the Acting Police Commissioner David Manning tendered a copy of the original copy of warrant of arrest as evidence in the National Court. The Police Legal Officer and Solicitor General relied on the affidavit in the submission to have the O’Neill’s case dismissed by National Court.
So I appeal to the former Prime Minister to stop hiding behind press statements and avail himself to Police for an interview in the ongoing criminal investigations against him which now includes perjury.