2 Nov 2011

Air Niugini sacks two staff over Tiensten escape to Australia

3:34 pm on 2 November 2011

Air Niugini has sacked two senior staff for their part in the escape of former Papua New Guinea's National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten to Australia.

Mr Tiensten is wanted for questioning in an investigation into the spending of funds from the National Planning Department.

The two officers were dismissed after an internal investigation, prompted by questions by the government on how Mr Tiensten had left the country.

The National broadcaster, NBC, reports the two are customer services manager, Jack Pidik, and Rakum Peni, one of the airline's senior managers.

Air Niugini says they failed to protect the good name of the airline.

The airline has denied the government pressured it to take action.