Prime Minister Alkatiri categorically denies allegations of
corruption, 3 March
Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri categorically denies allegations
by Oceanic Exploration and its subsidiary Petrotimor that he was
offered or accepted US$ 2.5 million from ConocoPhillips Petroleum
to secure their investment in the Timor Sea.
Prime Minister Alkatiri said today 'I have not, nor have I ever,
taken bribes from ConocoPhillips or any other party. I regard
these allegations as far-fetched and frivolous.'
Alkatiri considers the claim to be vexatious and to have been
filed in bad faith. He said "Timor-Leste is the newest and
one of the poorest countries in the world. Such allegations come
as a highly unfortunate distraction at this difficult and crucial
time of nation building. I understand that corruption has the
potential to ruin Timor-Leste's prospects; that is why it is my
personal mission to build Timor-Leste on principles of integrity,
honesty and transparency.'
Prime Minister Alkatiri, who is not named as a respondent, is
however seeking advice for legal action in relation to the defamatory