By SAM KOIM (Taskforce Sweep Chairman)
The Kokopo National Court has convicted State prisoner and former Member for Pomio, Paul Tiensten relating to another fraud case. The allegations in this case stem from a K3.4m that was earmarked for Karlai plantation in the Pomio district but Mr Tiensten used his position as Minister and diverted the funds from the National Planning Department to a company that he had immediate control.
ITFS investigated the allegations and charged Mr Tiensten. The trial was concluded in September 2013 and after more than a year and four months of waiting, the verdict was delivered today in Kokopo.
Mr Tiensten is currently serving a nine year jail term at the Bomana prison facility outside Port Moresby for his role in directing a payment of K10m to Travel Air Ltd, a company owned by controversial Kokopo businessman, Eremas Wartoto.
Mr Tiensten is now awaiting sentencing on this fresh case concerning the K3.4m. My sincere thanks to those who involved in securing this conviction including the Office of the Public Prosecutor.
This conviction adds to the list of high profile cases initiated by ITFS. “Mipla daun tasol mipla stil wok na ol wok i stil karim kaikai yet.” Despite the funding constraints, we are still seeing the fruits of our hard work. We have 91 cases currently in court and we are managing them to ensure trials are completed without any disruptions.