11 May 2005

Call for probe of PNG's Porgera mine deaths

8:15 pm on 11 May 2005

Pressure is mounting for a Commission of Inquiry to be set up into one of Papua New Guinea's lucrative gold mines.

The governor of Morobe province, Luther Wenge, says he intends to push the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, to set up an inquiry into the deaths of 29 people either in or near the Porgera Gold Mine.

The inquiry would look into whether the mine engaged security guards who had on occasions used gunfire against intruders.

The opposition leader, Peter O'Neill, had raised the issue nearly a month ago.

The Prime Minister has said he wants to wait for police reports into the shootings, but Mr Wenge has queried the objectivity of the police, suggesting that some of them may have been involved in the killings.