Papua New Guinea lawmaker facing domestic violence charges in Australia resigns amid trial

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Papua New Guinea Government officials indicted on domestic violence charges Australia The country’s prime minister said he would step down from his post while the case against him was ongoing.

Police in New South Wales, Australia It said in a statement A 58-year-old man was reportedly arrested and charged in Sydney on Saturday following a domestic dispute. A 31-year-old woman, who is an acquaintance of the man, suffered facial injuries following the altercation, according to a statement.

Australian authorities did not name Petroleum Minister Jimmy Maradina as a suspect, but his identity was widely reported in the Papua New Guinean and Australian press.

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Mr Malardina, said he had “offered to step down as petroleum minister pending the hearing of the appeal in the Australian courts.” James Marape He said in a written statement on Sunday.

He added that Marape would appoint an acting minister, but gave no further details about the arrests or the alleged assaults.

Maladina is due to appear in court on Thursday charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and is currently out on bail, police said.

He did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press. Papua New Guinea media quoted him as saying he was aware of the reports of the arrest and was “cooperating fully with the authorities.” He did not say whether he would plead guilty to the charges.

Papua New Guinea’s opposition leader, Douglas Tomriesa, on Tuesday called on the prime minister to sack Maradina or ask him to resign rather than allow him to step down temporarily.

“Mr Maladina will not perform the functions of a minister but will receive the remuneration of a minister,” Tomrieza said in a written statement.

Mr Maladina, a former lawyer and member of Mr Marape’s Pangu party, will become a member of parliament in 2022 and was appointed minister in January. Mr Marape has instructed him to step up efforts to help developing countries benefit from their natural gas resources.

He was a key ally of Mr Marape, who faced political turmoil in May when 18 of his party members defected to the opposition in an attempt to force a vote of no confidence in him as prime minister.

The attempted vote was deemed illegal. The next parliament will meet in September.

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