11 Jul 2006

Bougainville presidential committee to look into assassination plot claims

1:34 pm on 11 July 2006

A presidentially-appointed committee in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is to investigate claims surrounding an alleged plot to kill the president.

A meeting was held last Friday to examine any evidence of the plot, particularly that implicating the involvement of PNG's mining minister, Sam Akoitai.

Militants who had confessed they were part of the failed plan to kill Joseph Kabui said Mr Akoitai gave them 7,000 US dollars and weapons.

But those who said they had evidence of Mr Akoitai's involvement failed to turn up to a meeting last Friday called to look at that evidence.

A presidential spokesperson, Dennis Kuiai, says nine tribal chiefs have been appointed to carry out a three-week investigation into the claims.

He says there is no need to involve the police.

"With the involvement of the chiefs.....we have come this far for the Bougainville peace process so we are confident that they will do a better job."

A Bougainville presidential spokesperson, Dennis Kuiai.