PNG police chiefs to re-look at PM file
Papua New Guinea's top police hierarchy is to re-examine the file around an arrest warrant on the Prime Minister.
Papua New Guinea's police hierarchy says it is imperative that police re-look at the investigation into the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's alleged role in illegal payments to a law firm.
This follows the National Court decision ruling against Mr O'Neill's bid to stop the warrant from being implemented.
The Police Chief of Operations, Jim Andrews, says that the court ruling clearly leaves authority over the arrest warrant with Mr Vaki
Jim Andrews spoke to Johnny Blades who asked why the Commissioner has now asked the district courts to set aside the warrant.
JIM ANDREWS: He has the authority under those sections (of the constitution) to put it aside so that it will give him time to re-look nito the whole investigations under the file and ensure that the contents of the file are not being contaminated by politicians and interested parties dealing with the case.
JOHNNY BLADES: The investigation from which the arrest warrant stemmed was a very extensive investigation and took a long time and the courts have found that the arrest warrant was valid. why does it need to be looked at again when it's already supposedly water-tight?
JA: It is a very, very serious issue that has been going on for quite a long time. But being the newly appointed Commissioner, he was not involved in this particular case, and he has the authority under those sections to re-look into the whole investigation and the file to ensure that the file contains the original documents. He does not want to see photocopies. We need original documents. we are dealing with the Prime Minister of the country and everybody should understand this and we should not - for the sake of political issues - try to take it sideways and downways and all that. We are not stopping the whole file. The Commissioner's going to re-look into it and put them together.
JB: Is there a risk though of being contemptuous of court, because it was a court issued arrest warrant in the first place, wasn't it?
JA: Well this is the whole issue that went before the court, and the court has referred that matter to the commissioner, saying it that is an administrative matter of the police to deal with. Why sending it to the courts? So the national court has sent responsibilities... because it is a purely administrative matter for the commissioner to deal with.
JB: Can you confirm reports that policemen tried to arrest the Commissioner in the last day or two?
JA: Yes that is correct. I was there in time to stop the nasty situation. Fraud squad officers went to arrest the commissioner to charge him with conispiracy.
JB: Over what matter, this matter that we're talking about?
JA: We don't know for what matter but they went to arrest him for conspiracy. He has been already arrested and charged with that matter and it's before the court and they just want to come and repeat the same old thing again. It does not seem right.
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