The Ombudsman Commission yesterday referred Hon. John Vianney Kepas, MHR, Member for Makis Constituency in South Bougainville Region, Member of the Bougainville House of Representatives to the Public Prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office.
The Ombudsman Commission conducted an investigation and has granted Mr Vianney Kepas a right to be heard which he failed to respond to, and having deliberated on the matter has determined that there is a prima facie case that Mr Vianney Kepas has been guilty of misconduct in office.
As required by Section 20(2) of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership, the Commission has notified Mr Vianney Kepas of its intention to refer the matter to Public Prosecutor.
After being satisfied, for the purposes of Section 29(1) of the Constitution and Sections 17(d), 20(4) and 27(1) of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership that there is a prima facie case that the Mr Vianney Kepas, MHR, has been guilty of misconduct in office, the Commission decided to refer the matter to the Public Prosecutor for his independent deliberations under Section 177(1) (b) of the Constitution.
The referral is in the hands of the Public Prosecutor who has the discretion to bring or decline to bring proceedings under the Leadership Code for alleged misconduct in office in accordance with Section 177(1) (b) of the Constitution.