21 Nov 2006

Suspended Commander must be held accountable, says former PNGDF head

7:55 am on 21 November 2006

The former head of Papua new Guinea's Defence Force, Major General Jerry Singirok, says the PNGDF's involvement in the escape of fugitive Julian Moti last month was a major blunder.

The suspended current PNGDF head Commodore Peter Ilau is one of three high level suspensions made by the government so that the investigation into the Moti escape from PNG to the Solomon Islands - aboard a PNG military plane - can proceed unobstructed.

Major General Singirok says Commodore Ilau must be held accountable for the PNGDF's role in the affair.

He says if the escape was ordered by the commander's subordinate's without his knowledge, then there are questions about his competence in the role.

"The Defence Force played a key role in transporting Julian Moti on a Defence Force aircraft into international airspace and landed on an unauthorised or unused airstrip outside of designated airstrips. The Defence Force aircraft did have armed soldiers which indicated there was an armed invasion of another sovereign country."