On Friday January 11th 2019, the Committal Court dismissed the charges after a credible case could not be produced against Brown when first charged in July 2018.
In a statement NASFUND Board Chairman, Hulala Tokome, said in the process of defending an obviously spurious charge, Brown and his family have endured prolonged stress, not to mention, the considerable disruption to the ordinary business of NASFUND.
Brown was charged on July 30th 2018 after a complaint made by Melanesian Trustee Services Limited (MTSL) to police following a routine letter, signed by Browne on July 18th to MTSL, requesting information including audited accounts for the 2017 Financial Year for the Pacific Balanced Fund (PBF).
NASFUND has an investment representing around K100 million in a unit Trust in PBF, whilst MTSL is Manager and Trustee of PBF.
Browne was requested by letter to be interviewed at the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate, where he showed up, and shortly after was charged with ‘Conspiracy to Defraud.’
Brown attended the Waigani District Court on 12 separate occasions for nearly six months.
Magistrate, Mekeo Gauli, dismissed the charges after the prosecution failed to produce a case within the time.
Tokome said the Board is pleased with the Courts ruling, that justice has prevailed, and Brown’s professional reputation is restored.
He said the ruling is seen as recognition of the good governance and regulatory obligations of the Superannuation Industry in PNG and those entrusted to implement the same.
With this matter put to rest, Tokome said they can now move on and concentrate on bigger issues of looking after the interests of their members.