8 Feb 2011

Former top PNG bureaucrat charged with murder of former rugby league star

1:13 pm on 8 February 2011

A former chief of staff to the Papua New Guinea prime minister has been charged with murdering a PNG rugby league legend.

Dr Theo Yasause, part of the highly connected East Sepik political elite, has been charged with the willful murder of Aquila Emil.

The Port Moresby metropolitan police commander, Joseph Tondop, says Mr Emil was shot dead in his car near the Lamana night club in Port Moresby early on Friday.

Mr Tondop says Dr Yasause was arrested after he went to the police on Monday afternoon and charged with one count of willful murder.

Dr Yasause was chief of staff to Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in 2007 and 2008 before becoming head of PNG's office of climate change.

He was suspended from that position in 2009 after numerous scandals and allegations of corruption.