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PNG Dep PM Namah hits back at Star claims

12:50 Fri Mar 16 2012

Papua New Guinea's deputy prime minister says Australian press reports about his alleged drunken behaviour at Sydney's Star casino are malicious and unfounded.

Belden Namah was reportedly named in a Star incident report accusing him of threatening staff and sexually harassing a male blackjack dealer.

Mr Namah, who has already strongly denied the allegations through his lawyer, told local reporters in Port Moresby on Thursday the reports were unfounded and malicious.

Foreign media were not invited to the press conference.

Mr Namah demanded the Fairfax group - publishers of the story - retract the "misleading and unfounded claims."

"I want to make it clear, I am not gay," the Port Moresby based National newspaper quoted him as saying.

He said his lawyer will engage three Sydney based Queen's Council to take the Fairfax-owned Sydney Morning Herald to court for defamation, accusing the broadsheet of intending to discredit him and his reputation.