14 Nov 2006

Former commander of PNG defence says government was justified in suspending officials

7:44 am on 14 November 2006

The former commander of the Papua New Guinea defence force Major General Singirok, says the government is justified in suspending top officials involved in the Julian Moti affair.

Mr Moti, the suspended Solomon Islands attorney general was flown out of PNG last month on a military plane.

Local media reports say the three - chief secretary to the Prime Minister Joshua Kalinoe, the acting Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga, and the military commander Commodore Peter Ilau - were suspended by cabinet last Thursday.

Major Singirok says if the three acted outside protocol they should go, but he says the difficulty is that findings from inquiries into the matter is are kept under wraps.

"It is timely for us to get into the root of all these bureaucratic bungles and blunders. And I believe that the government is acting responsibly to ensure there is accountability."

Major General Singirok says he understands the PM's office is planning to make an official announcement shortly.