28 Sep 2012

Governor says kidnapping of PNG election official's child must be investigated

2:19 pm on 28 September 2012

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Enga province has called on police to investigate the kidnapping of the son of a returning officer after the recent election.

Cleophas Roa's 14 year-old son was allegedly kidnapped by supporters of a losing candidate in the Enga Provincial seat.

The seat's third runner-up Nathan Piari has denied any involvement of his supporters in the kidnapping.

However the Governor Peter Ipatas says Nathan Piari's people had paid Mr Roa's family compensation after the kidnapping.

"The complaint has been withdrawn by the returning officer because of constant threats. Then the police were saying they cannot continue (investigating). But, you know, this is a criminal act. It doesn't really matter if the complaint has been withdrawn. Police must do the investigation. This is the first of its kind in PNG... this is an innocent child being kidnapped."

Peter Ipatas' provincial win is being challenged by two election petitions, including one filed by Nathan Piari.