2 Apr 2004

PNG rebuffs Australia's immunity demand

2:04 pm on 2 April 2004

Sources in Papua New Guinea say the government has told Australia it does not want to alter its constitution to give immunity to Australian personnel to be deployed in PNG.

This comes amid widespread criticism in PNG of Australia's call to have the same immunity for its police officers from PNG laws as they have in Solomon Islands.

For the past two weeks, officials of both governments have been considering the possibility that the police could be covered by other options including the status of forces agreement which applies to the military.

But PNG has now informed Australia of its preferred position and is awaiting for a response from Canberra.

It has been assured of a response some time next week.