16 Dec 2009

Concerns in PNG at possible link between shootings and Ombudsman's work

9:57 pm on 16 December 2009

Transparency International says a line will have been crossed in Papua New Guinea if the shooting of a head ombudsman is found to be related to his investigations.

PNG's Chief Ombudsman Chronox Manek was shot and wounded outside his home in an apparent assassination attempt on Friday.

Transparency International chairman Peter Aitsi says the shooting could be related to a case Mr Manek was investigating, although he is unaware of anything that could have provoked such an attack.

He says Mr Manek has a history of investigating corruption, formerly as a public prosecutor and as an ombudsman, and he would be gravely concerned if the shooting is related to his work

"Within PNG corruption is a major issue and we at Transparency speak regularly on the issue of corruption. But it's never led us to the point where an individual has taken a personalised attack. That's why I'm very surprised, that if it is in relation to investigations being undertaken, then we have crossed the line in Papua New Guinea."

Peter Aitsi says the attack is a sign of weak law and order in PNG, and there needs to be greater protection for those who work in the area of corruption.