23 Feb 2005

PNG police minister confirms senior officer suspended, calls for public inquiry

2:29 pm on 23 February 2005

The Papua New Guinea security minister, Bire Kimisopa, says the police force's chief of legal services has been suspended from duty.

Chief Superintendent Sam Bonner was named in a report obtained by Australian media which alleges 15 senior PNG police officers are being investigated for corruption.

Chief Superintendent Bonner was alleged to have ordered a halt to a planned police raid on a known operator of illegal gambling machines.

Mr Kimisopa, who is the minister responsible for policing, says a police complaints tribunal is now needed into the claims some police are involved with Asian crime syndicates.

"With the history of police complaints, it has been dealt from within. The public has no say in so far as police abuse, unethical behaviour is concerned, so we felt it's important that we start facilitating a process where can deal with the cases as we go along."

Mr Kimisopa says legislation is being drawn up to establish a tribunal, and this could go before parliament as soon as June.