2 May 2005

Indonesian government extends crackdown on illegal logging in Papua

12:29 pm on 2 May 2005

A police official says a big government crackdown on illegal logging in the Indonesian province of Papua is being extended another month.

The Papua Police spokesman, Saut Usman, says the operation deadline will be extended to June 7 to allow police time to sort through a large backlog of case files.

More than 700 people have been detained and 153 people arrested and charged with logging offences since the operation began in early March.

Mr Usman says police need the extra time to prepare evidence before the cases were sent to prosecutors.

Two top government officials along with senior military officers and policemen are among those whose cases are expected to go to trial.