20 Jan 2014

PNG police thwarted in attempt to arrest opposition leader

7:30 am on 20 January 2014

An attempt by Papua New Guinea police to arrest the Opposition Leader Belden Namah at his Port Moresby residence yesterday failed after security guards and members of the civil community blocked the entrance.

The Post Courier reports there was a near confrontation by a group of about eight policemen travelling in unmarked vehicles, with Mr Namah's security guards and the activists who arrived at his residence as early as 7am on Sunday.

The Papua New Guinea Commissioner of Police, Toami Kulunga, had issued orders on Saturday for Mr Namah to be arrested for making threats.

In a letter, Mr Namah wrote that he was aggrieved that Commissioner Kulunga had "taken action to pervert justice" and requested that he reinstate the four policemen suspended over a high-profile fraud investigation and cause them to be given exclusive use of all police assets to assist them to implement their duties.

Mr Namah then wrote that failure to accede to the request would result in unprecedented measures to have Mr Kulunga arrested and charged under the Criminal Code.

Mr Kulunga says he is fed up with the Opposition Leader's tantrums, and that he is acting like an impatient, insensitive and thoughtless child who does not respect the rule of law.

The Post Courier reports police and defence force soldiers patrolled the street where Mr Namah lives for about two hours yesterday but no arrest was made.