1 Oct 2007

PNG defence force commander says no truth in rumour of arrest of Prime Minister

8:15 pm on 1 October 2007

Papua New Guinea's defence force chief has dismissed reports that disgruntled soldiers plan to arrest Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare over the escape from PNG of alleged child sex offender Julian Moti.

Defence Force Commander Peter Ilau says the military is not involved in any plans to arrest Sir Michael over his alleged involvement in the wanted Australian lawyer's escape to the Solomon Islands last October.

PNG police have said they were taking no chances and would put on extra security for the prime minister.

But stories that PNGDF soldiers would try and arrest the Prime Minister and have him charged with treason have been circulating in Port Moresby over the last two weeks.

Commander Ilau says the military is not involved in any way in such plans.

"I's all rubbish. It's not true. There's no military and the military's not concerned in any way in the Moti affair. We've had our investigation and that's been done and the matter's in court now. There are people with different motives who are running round trying to implicate the military and trying to involve the military."