25 Aug 2009

Bougainville group welcomes MP jailing for sex offence

2:29 pm on 25 August 2009

The head of an NGO in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville area that assists the victims of sexual and domestic violence is praising police after an MP was jailed for sexual assault, but says more arrests need to be made.

Hilary Laris, a member of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, has been jailed for three years for the offence but will serve just one year with two years suspended after he fulfilled court directives while on remand.

Helen Hakena of the Nehan Leitana Women Development Agency says they are very happy to see Laris jailed but she says there are other leaders who should also be charged and police need to act.

"That is the first time it has happened here - a leader has committed sexual assault and he has been jailed, but there are other leaders here that need to be accountable for the crimes that they are committing against women. In the past we have put cases to the police but nothing has been done to arrest those leaders, so we are so happy that the police are beginning to arrest leaders now."

Hilary Laris will forfeit his seat in the ABG.

There is no word yet whether there will be a by-election.