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Monday, November 13, 2006

Moti escape from PNG cops high level suspensions in PNG

By Clifford Faiparik

Papua New Guinea's Chief Secretary Joshua Kalinoe, acting Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga and PNGDF commander Commodore Peter Ilau have been suspended for an indefinite period. It is understood their suspension was related to the Julian Moti affair.

The National Executive Council moved to suspend them last Thursday evening but there had been no official word from the Prime Minister or the NEC. The removal of the three officers is seen as a gesture by the Government to appease strained relationship with Australia, which had placed a ban on visits to Australia by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, MPs and senior public servants and threatened to cut aid over the Moti affair.

The removal of Moti to Solomon Islands using a PNG Defence Force aircraft in a clandestine manner is seen as a corrupt act, prompting the tough Australian action.
The Government has not made public findings of an investigation into this matter. A separate investigation by the PNGDF had been completed but likewise, the finding had not been made public. Commander Ilau has however, reinstated three officers implicated in the Moti flight affair. But the failure by the Government to make a formal announcement has caused confusion and anxiety.

Bertha Somare of the Prime Minister’s Media Unit refused to comment on the matter.
Acting Police Commissioner Kulunga and PNGDF Chief of Staff Alois Ur Tom say they were not aware of the changes when contacted by The National. They said they have not seen any signed or gazetted NEC decisions. It is understood that no replacement had been appointed yet for Mr Kalinoe.

Islands region police commander Assistant Commissioner Alfred Sheekiot flew into Port Moresby from Rabaul last Friday afternoon to take up his new role as acting Commissioner for Police. He told The National he had received reports that he was now the acting commissioner.

Source: PNG National

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