PNG Police say man charged with Barati murder not on bail

6:37 pm on 25 July 2015

The police commander on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island says one of the men charged with the murder of asylum seeker Reza Barati has not been granted bail, contrary to other reports.

23-year-old Mr Barati was killed during clashes at Australia's asylum seeker detention centre in February last year.

Two people have been charged over his death, while police are still looking for three more suspects.

The province's MP, Ronnie Knight, yesterday said he had been told that one of the men, Joshua Kaluvia, was out of prison and in the community.

Australian media reports also say Mr Kaluvia has been seen walking around the provincial capital, Lorengau.

But the Manus provincial police commander, Alex N'Drasal, says Mr Kaluvia has not been granted bail and is in custody in the island's prison.

"They appeared in court this week where bail was denied and the case was adjourned until September...they have been moved back to the prison camp."

Alex N'Drasal says reports of Mr Kaluvia roaming free are speculation.

However, Ronnie Knight says the prison is incredibly overcrowded, and some inmates leave during the day and return to their cells at night.

He says the provincial government is planning to construct a new prison in the next couple of years.