Lawyer sting draws questionable PNG, Aust government responses

A sting by a global NGO on high profile Papua New Guinea lawyers and broadcast on Australian television has caused an uproar in legal and political circles, as well as some of the more fiery social media sites.

The SBS Dateline program, backed by an Fairfax media investigative team, aired the secret recordings of two lawyers from Young and William Lawyers in Port Moresby.

In it, the lawyers suggested that large bribes can be disguised as commercial transactions and should be paid “in dribs and drabs”, which can then be laundered overseas.

It has prompted PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill to direct his foreign affairs minister and attorney general to investigate, and Australia’s foreign minister to disclose that the claims are being looked at by the Australian Federal Police.

But as Adam Connors reports, the threat of an Australia Federal Police investigation leading to a prosecution is wearing thin.

SPEAKER: Professor Jason Sharman, transnational money laundering expert from Australia’s Griffith University