15 Feb 2007

PNG's former security chief accuses PM of giving orders to remove fugitive Moti

4:40 pm on 15 February 2007

The former chief of Papua New Guinea's National Security Advisory Council has filed papers in court stating that he was ordered by the Prime Minister to get the fugitive Julian Moti out of the country.

Joseph Assaigo stated that the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Leonard Louma, told him that the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, had ordered Mr Louma to have Mr Moti removed.

According to a report in the newspaper, The National, Mr Assaigo said Mr Louma later directed him to use either the police helicopter or the defence force Air Squadron Unit to fly Mr Moti to Solomon Islands.

He stated that Mr Louma assured him that if anything should happen, he would have the protection of the Prime Minister.

Mr Assaigo is challenging the decision of Chief Secretary Joshua Kalinoe who found him guilty of disciplinary charges laid against him over the Moti issue.

He is also challenging a decision by the National Executive Council to dismiss him from his job.

Mr Kalinoe and the PNG Defence Force commander Peter Ilau were also suspended but were reinstated after they challenged the decision in court.

The judge ruled that proper processes were not followed and for a breach of natural justice.