15 Jan 2007

PNG Police Commissioner accuses rivals of waging dirty campaign against him

6:54 pm on 15 January 2007

Papua New Guinea's new police commissioner says some members of the Police Force are waging a dirty campaign to have him removed from the post.

Gari Baki was arrested last week for perverting the course of justice in regards to an investigation into the misappropriation of over 3-hundred thousand US dollars.

Mr Baki, who is also facing charges of causing disaffection within the Police Force, says his rivals have used the latest arrest to cast further doubt over his appointment.

His opponents want the recent appointment of Mr Baki as commissioner reviewed, saying cabinet did not follow proper procedures in the decision.

But Mr Baki says he and his family are being intimidated and harassed by his opponents.

He says last week's arrest came under the orders of Acting Chief of Police Operations Tony Wagambie in a tense stand-off at his office.

"Even then, there was no respect for the office of the Commissioner. Mr Wagambie and his people came into the office of the Commissioner and arrested me there. So really there is no logic in this. All it is... is that they want to make sure as much as possible that I get hammered."

Gari Baki