Well looks like allot of questions being asked lately about the Somare’s. I’ll just cut and paste the articles so you can read them:
November 05, 2008 11:00pm
Documents have emerged linking the PNG Grand Chief and his powerbroker son to the real estate.
PNG’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Opposition Leader Sir Mekere Morauta, and former finance minister Bart Philemon yesterday said it had to be asked where the money had come from.
Ombudsman Commission legal counsel Vergil Narokobi, one of the top three most senior officials with the anti-corruption watchdog, said they would investigate.
“It is quite possible it is legitimate,” Mr Narokobi said.
“We will look to see if there were any breaches of the leadership code.
“To afford such luxuries it is not something ordinary Papua New Guineans can do. It is a situation of unfairness, but that is my own personal view.
“We have to give them the benefit of doubt. On the face of it we will respect our leaders until the contrary is shown.”
Documents obtained by The Courier-Mail show Sir Michael obtained a $349,000 three-bedroom executive-style apartment with private plunge pool in inner-city Cairns in April last year, in a deal brokered by a Gold Coast lawyer.
Two months ago, Arthur Somare, who is PNG’s State Enterprise Minister and a political heavyweight, bought a $685,000 four-bedroom home with his wife at Trinity Beach.
Mr Somare, who plans to move his family to Australia to live, has just sealed a US$20 billion deal over access to PNG’s liquid natural gas reserves with a consortium from the Middle East.
Cairns builder Michael Case, who sold the house to Mr Somare in August, said: “He is a fabulous guy, everything was done above board.”
Agents for the unit’s sale said it was bought at the time of last year’s PNG election after protracted negotiations. The vendor, R & H Constructions (Qld) Pty Ltd, went bankrupt while building the $5 million unit block – with no trace of former directors.
Sir Michael, who was in Cairns last week for a historic address to Queensland Parliament, declined a request for an interview and did not respond to a series of written questions.
His son Arthur also did not respond to questions about his new property.
Sir Michael, who has refused to provide details of his overseas assets since 1992 under the leadership code, is fighting a Supreme Court action against the Ombudsman Commission.
Opposition Leader Sir Mekere said the Somare family owed it to the PNG people to reveal their assets.
“They should both publicly explain how they obtained this real estate,” said Sir Mekere, who this year bought a $3.6 million riverfront mansion at New Farm in Brisbane’s inner city under his wife Roslyn’s name.
Former finance minister and anti-graft campaigner Mr Philemon said: “They have got to tell people in PNG how they funded those properties, otherwise it smells like corruption.”
Opposition leader and Moresby North West MP Sir Mekere Morauta said a number of statements made by Mr Somare last week did give some indication of the true story behind IPBC. He asked: “Who owns IPBC? “How independent is it? “Independent of what? “And, independent from whom?” He said it was odd that Mr Somare had refused to reveal details of IPBC’s financing option for equity not adding to Government debt, citing reasons of “ongoing discussions”.
“In other words, IPBC has the power to borrow large amounts of money without impacting public finances. “How very odd can that get?” Sir Mekere asked.
In the same article, Mr Somare said the IPBC had a strong balance sheet of K7 billion “to negotiate with”. “Was he implying that IPBC’s assets were not owned by the Government; that they were in some way separate from or independent of the Government? “Is this the case, Arthur Somare? Please explain.”
He said Mr Somare must tell the people what assets IPBC had, where he found them, and how much he paid for them.
Sir Mekere also called on Papua New Guineans to demand full and proper explanations from Mr Somare, Glen Blake and IPBC. “This matter is very serious.
“It is in our interest to have IPBC explain the extent of its independence and ownership structure.
“It is clear that a certain minister is being empowered by Cabinet to create a very large investment and financial empire, the size of which will rival the State.
“It is morally wrong to have one person responsible for the management of such a large commercial empire.
“Papua New Guineans must not allow this tree to grow roots, branches and leaves.
“The people will be the losers.”
Sir Mekere also urged the Government to withdraw its appointment of IPBC in the gas project.
“The Prime Minister can easily overturn that decision. “Petromin, which the Prime Minister created expressly to hold State equity in this project, is the right home for the shares,” Sir Mekere said.