21 May 2012

Police chief in Port Moresby defends actions of police at Paga Hill

3:27 pm on 21 May 2012

The police commander in the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, has defended the behaviour of police at Paga Hill on Saturday a week ago.

Police have faced criticism for assisting the developers in a controversial eviction of the Paga Hill settlers.

A local MP, the opposition leader Dame Carol Kidu, says some of the police behaved arrogantly and she herself was manhandled and left bruised.

But commander Francis Tokura says media reports have blown the entire issue out of proportion.

He says the conduct of his officers was professional and that due respect was accorded to those being evicted as well as to Dame Carol.

Mr Tokura says the development company had a valid court order and had requested police help to remove the settlers on Paga Hill.

He noted the company had offered the settlers new residential sites and money to pay for the move.