5 Jan 2007

PNG media council says it won't investigate Daily Post

11:13 am on 5 January 2007

The Media Council in Papua New Guinea says it will not investigate the country's Daily Post newspaper despite government complaints about articles it ran about alleged government attempts to influence the inquiry into the escape of Australian lawyer, Julian Moti, to Solomon Islands.

The inquiry was begun several weeks ago by the Ministry of Defense and aims to identify those who helped Moti leave PNG on an unauthorised flight aboard a PNG Defence Force plane.

The government has denied being involved in the affair and has asked the media council to investigate the matter.

But our correspondent in Port Moresby, Alexander Rheeney, says the media council refused to do so.

"The media council has not backed the referral, saying that they support the Post Courier in its move to publish the truth. And the media council did say it was for the benefit of all of Papua New Guinea that the government comes clear on who actually gave the order for Julian Moti to be flown to Solomon Islands. 19"

Alex Rheeney says the newspaper has published the document supporting its claims, but the government says it is a fake.