Papua New Guinea businessman and former politician Peter Yama has directed his lawyers to assess a possible defamation law suit against the Post-Courier for publishing alleged damaging statements against him in two consecutive front pages this week.
Mr Yama said from Madang that in what seemed to be a peculiar professional exploit rarely seen elsewhere, he was made to look like a villain in a genuine process of law that involved his fight to gain what has been awarded to his company by the highest courts on the land, one National Court and two Supreme Courts.
Yama Security Services (YSS), a subsidiary in the Yama Group of Companies, had successfully taken out a claim against MVIL to pay a judgment debt owed for a breach of contract in Jan 1999. However, Bank South Pacific, where MVIL has its account, has refused to pay the judgment debt of nearly K7.6 million plus interest and cost and instead want to take the money to cover a part of a questionable figure of K35 million loan which they claim the Yama Group owes to BSP.
Mr Yama had successfully laid a complaint with police alleging conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by certain MVIL and BSP officers. While three senior BSP officers had been charged, police were working to interview PNG Law Society President Kerenga Kua and Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited managing director Dr John Mua. But it was alleged that the duo fled to Chimbu, resulting in the Post-Courier stories, implying that Mr Yama was involved in claims that K100,000 was posted on the heads of Dr Mua and Mr Kua.
It was also alleged that Dr Mua and Mr Kua returned to Port Moresby after their representative, Blake Dawson Lawyers, successfully took out National Court orders which granted leave to apply for judicial review of the decision of Waigani District Court magistrate Fred Tomo made on Jan 15 to issue warrants of arrest of the two alleging that they conspired together and with John Maddison, Robin Flemming, Mary Joans, and James Kruse to defeat the course of justice by defying a legitimate Supreme Court order of 2000 in ordering MVIL to pay Yama Security Services an amount of K7,303,115.85 but instead the said money was diverted to Deloilte Touch Tohmatsu as an agent of BSP.
The court also ordered that an order be issued to stay the magistrate's decision of Jan 15 until determination of the substantive proceedings.
Mr Yama said the Post-Courier passionately reported about the threats on Mr Kua and Dr Mua over their handling of the case.
He described the articles as a deliberate and calculated attempt to discredit him and tarnish his image and reputation.
Mr Yama said he had been a policeman for 10 years while his wife Agatha Yama, who had also been one of the first PNG policewomen, have both been in businessman for well over 30 years.
He said during these years from a humble beginning till today, he has never set out to break the law, or kill or injure other people in connection with his work or business.
"How could I place K100,000 on somebody's head when I have been on the winning side in the court decisions? I have been fighting these cases for over 10 years and now I am just happy to receive favourable decisions. How could I possibly be upset and angry and want to take somebody's life? These allegations are just baseless, unfounded with no substance and clearly defamed my name," Mr Yama said.
He said that because he is going against the big "fishes" or the elite group who have been collaborating and conspiring for far too long in business. That is why their friends are speaking out for them.
"It's not like me coming the hard way to be what I am," Mr Yama said.
Mr Yama said the news articles have done great damage to him. They portrayed him as a man who was out to kill someone. They portrayed him as someone who would place a bounty on the head of another person, and hire a gang to go after and kill them.
"The imputations are that I am a bad person, someone who will stop at nothing to get what I want.
"My integrity and reputation have been seriously damaged by these articles. I and my family have been ashamed. I cannot accept this. I have done nothing to deserve this. The newspaper and the perpetrators of these articles have no basis to publish the stories," Mr Yama said.
Mr Yama said he has given notice to the Post-Courier last Friday to apologise or the paper would be sued for defamation.