Former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill claims police charged him with perjury 2023

Peter O’Neill, the former prime minister of Papua New Guinea, stated on Monday that he was charged with providing fraudulent evidence in an investigation into a multimillion-dollar government loss on an investment transaction.

O’Neill, who is still a legislator in the parliament of the Pacific island nation, denied the allegations, which originate from his time as the government’s leader in 2014.

The government of O’Neill acquired a $878 million loan from the Swiss investment bank UBS in order to acquire a 10.1% stake in the Australian stock exchange-listed energy exploration company Oil Search Ltd.

The government ultimately sold its stake at a loss, and this year, an investigation into the transaction recommended charges against O’Neill for providing false testimony. The allegation entails a potential 14-year prison sentence.

O’Neill, who was succeeded in 2019 by the current Prime Minister James Marape, stated that he faced three accusations of providing fraudulent testimony to the UBS Commission of Inquiry.

Police accused former Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Peter O’Neill with perjury.

According to my knowledge, I did not mislead the Commission of Inquiry. But we will prove this in court,” O’Neill told reporters in Port Moresby, the nation’s capital.

O’Neill continued, referring to his political opponents, “This is all part of the game they are playing to intimidate and harass me.”

Marape, who was O’Neill’s finance minister when the shares were purchased, stated that the losses exceeded AU$340 million ($230 million).

Monday, Papua New Guinea police did not immediately corroborate the filing of charges, stating that a statement was being prepared.

However, Police Commissioner David Manning stated in a statement over the weekend that O’Neill would be questioned by investigators on Monday.

Manning stated, “Based on investigations into the UBS Commission of Inquiry report, we are convinced that Mr. Peter O’Neill provided false testimony under oath.”

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