15 Mar 2007

Call for PNG police investigation to be done by qualified external agency

8:02 pm on 15 March 2007

Papua New Guinea's Institute of National Affairs says a planned inquiry into the police needs to be conducted by an independent body.

The prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, has announced the investigation, and while terms of reference are yet to be made public, it is understood to be into alleged police involvement in the operation of illegal horse gambling machines.

Sir Michael has appointed a police officer to conduct the inquiry.

The PNG police association has welcomed the investigation but says it should involve people who are neutral and of integrity - a view endorsed by the Institute of National Affairs' Paul Barker.

"Someone certainly with a high level of experience in investigations and a high level of credibility and seniority because you are talking about investigating very senior policemen."

Paul Barker says many people in PNG do not see the investigation as very transparent and have queried the prime minister launching it on the eve of the national elections.