17 Mar 2006

PNG'S prime minister under investigation

11:13 am on 17 March 2006

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, is under investigation for attempting to fast-track a controversial logging project.

The Australian newspaper reports Sir Michael wrote to the Forest Minister ordering him to issue a permit to loggers Tzen Niugini without further delay for a project in East New Britain province.

In the letter Sir Michael says the New Britain project has been unnecessarily delayed and no efforts should be spared to ensure it is fast-tracked.

The letter has been referred to the PNG Ombudsman Commission.