31 Oct 2007

New PNG defence minister throws out Moti probe findings

4:06 pm on 31 October 2007

Papua New Guinea's Defence Minister, Bob Dadae, has rejected outright the findings of the Defence Force inquiry into Julian Moti's clandestine flight from the country aboard a PNG military plane last year.

The inquiry had implicated the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, senior bureaucrats and a number of soldiers.

The Post Courier reports Mr Dadae as saying the inquiry was wrongly headed by National and Supreme Court judge Justice Gibbs Salika, it overstepped its jurisdiction and it was biased.

He says to ensure the proper application of the rule of law and to protect the integrity of state institutions, none of the report's findings should be accepted and none of its recommendations should be implemented.

Mr Dadae refused to comment when asked by the paper if his decision would reinforce a perception that there were two laws in PNG - one for ordinary Papua New Guineans and one for its leaders.

It is still not known who authorised the clandestine flight.