16 Jun 2014

Opposition MP wants PNG Police chief replaced

4:07 pm on 16 June 2014

The deputy leader of Papua New Guinea's opposition has urged the government to move swiftly to replace the Police Commissioner following his conviction and sentencing.

Tom Kulunga was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Friday.

He was convicted on contempt of court charges for failing to reinstate Geoffrey Vaki as Assistant Commissioner of Police Operations after being suspended on cabinet orders in 2012.

Sam Basil has welcomed the sentence as a deterrent to high profile officials who defy the law.

"We are all expecting that the Police Commissioner should step down, or we are expecting that the NEC (National Executive Council) should make a temporary arrangement to put an acting commissioner until all the matters surrounding the commissioner's jailing clears out."

Sam Basil says the next Police Commissioner should seize the opportunity to revitalize and restore law enforcement functions of the police force, to ensure impartiality.