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Date Posted: Tue, Oct 21 2008, 03:37:01am
It was a kickback scam and Mr Paki's shame is forever engraved in the internet.................
US deal backfires
By YEHIURA HRIEHWAZI
THE government is faced with a K200 million lawsuit in the United States over non-settlement of consultancy fees to a US citizen.
Documents obtained by The National from Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s departments revealed that a Michael Z Mathew Esq. was given a “cabinet-approved mandate” to be PNG’s “sole and exclusive” representative in North America.
Under the arrangement, Mathews was supposed to be paid certain commissions for work undertaken for PNG.
His original bill of US$8 million (K30 million) last year was considered “too high” by the Treasury Department and his lawyers are planning to take the matter to the American Arbitration Tribunal to settle for an “amount not less than US$50 million (K200 million)”.
The mandate to Mathews was granted on Nov 11, 2002, and then renewed on April 1, 2003 and “thereafter revised, updated and extended to Dec 31, 2010,” according the documents.
Mathews’ lawyers based in New York, Maidman and Mittelman have written to Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare putting the state on notice of the lawsuit.
The letter, written by lawyer Stuart Jackson, was delivered to the PNG Embassy in Washington.
PNG Ambassador Evan Paki had written a letter on April 9, marked “urgent matter, confidential and sensitive” to Treasury secretary Simon Tosali seeking immediate settlement of the K30-million claim.
Mr Paki also sent copies of his letter to chief secretary Joshua Kalinoe, Foreign secretary Gabriel Pepson and acting Finance secretary Gabriel Yer.
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