20 Jan 2009

Australia's army chief orders probe into human remains

11:39 am on 20 January 2009

Australia's army chief has ordered a probe into how human remains that may belong to World War II soldiers were stored at the Port Moresby high commission for up to 12 years.

Several sets of remains were recovered from along the Kokoda and Sananada tracks and stored in the defence section of the commission for future identification.

Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie has ordered an inquiry "into the precise circumstances of the how the remains were recovered and handed into the high commission.

An investigation team will travel to Papua New Guinea next month to try to identify the remains and establish if they are those of World War II soldiers.

Investigators will also excavate two graves at Buna and Esologo thought to contain the remains of Australian Diggers.