Suspended PNG MP Kramer asks for alternate penalty

Bryan Kramer (centre) talks to the media.

Suspended Minister for Immigration and Member for Madang Bryan Kramer is likely to know by Friday, on what penalty he will be slapped with by the Leadership Tribunal enquiring in to misconduct allegations against him.

Chairman of the Tribunal Justice Lawrence Kangwia hinted this Monday when both parties concluded their submissions on penalty.

He said all parties will be advised on Friday after the Tribunal members go through their respective submissions.

In the morning the leader addressed the tribunal before his lawyer, Nemo Yalo from Nemo Yalo Lawyers made a detail submission asking the Tribunal to consider giving the leader an alternate penalty and not the maximum penalty of dismissal in office.

In a 36 page written submission that he handed up to the Tribunal members, he began by reminding the three Tribunal members the purpose and objective of the Leadership Code.

“The purpose and objective of the Leadership Code applied is two-fold. Firstly, to assist and prevent leaders occupying public offices from committing misconduct in office.

Secondly, that the leaders whose conduct falls short of the standard required under the wide ambit of the leadership code be held to account which entails a Leadership Tribunal imposing the appropriate penalties under the Leadership Code.

For the two first allegations that the leader was found guilty on, Yalo argued that there was no serious culpability and a penalty of fine or reprimand would suffice as a fair penalty.

In relation to allegations 5, 6 7 9 10 Yalo said these charges arise out of resolutions taken by the board with him as the Chairman of that body. In determining the appropriate penalty the tribunal must be cognizant of the provisions of the Act which are the intentions of the legislature”

“Applying the totality approach and pursuant to Section 28(lA) and (2) of the Constitution there is no serious culpability on the part of the leader. Public policy and the public good do not require dismissal from office.

Leadership Code is not just about removing leaders from pubic office but it is also about helping and strengthening quality of leadership.

This is a case appropriate for alternative penalties as submitted in respect of each of the charges”

There were also three character references provided by Prime Minister James Marape former Chief Ombudsman Ila Geno and Fr Jan Czuba.

The Public Prosecutor, Pondros Kaluwin in response submitted a 24 page written submission arguing that from all the seven allegations that the leader was found guilty on, the penalty for each one of them should be dismissal.

“Members of the National Parliament not only represent their electorate; they represent their country in that foreigners observe their conduct and thereby form a view of this country.

A Member of Parliament who engages in sub-standard conduct gives this country a sub-standard reputation. The totality of the proven allegations against the leader is such that there is a serious culpability on the part of the leader.

He has no one else to blame for the misconducts except himself. Public policy and public good demands that the leader be dismissed from office. The misconducts and the circumstances are such the tribunal does not have to consider any other penalty.