3 Jul 2006

Bougainville government remains concerned about possible assassination plots

2:11 pm on 3 July 2006

The Autonomous Government in Bougainville says it is still concerned that the life of the president, Joseph Kabui, is in danger despite the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot.

The president's office in the Papua New Guinea autonomous province says PNG intelligence discovered the plan and then some former secessionist fighters came forward to admit their involvement and apologise.

A presidential spokesperson, Dennis Kuiai, says Mr Kabui has been told the person behind the plan was the PNG mining minister and Central Bougainville MP, Sam Akoitai.

Mr Kuiai says it's alleged Mr Akoitai paid the plotters 7-thousand US dollars and gave them weapons.

But, Mr Kuiai says the mining minister is denying the allegations.

"During a trip to Port Moresby we had a chance to have an audience with the minister for mining, Sam Akoitai on Friday the 30th. A consensus was reached that the minister himself should come over to Buka this coming Thursday and they would sit together and probably final up the evidence, if there are any."

Dennis Kuiai says the president understands a plot to kill him remains.