16 Aug 2013

Rabaul Queen probe delay torments PNG families

4:56 am on 16 August 2013

A women's leader in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, Therese Jaintong, says the families of the victims in the Rabaul Queen disaster are going through agony as a result of the sinking and want to see the rule of law applied.

The ferry sank in February last year, claiming at least 141 lives, many of them from Bougainville.

Last year's commission of inquiry found that the vessel was in an appalling state and its operator, Peter Sharp, was willing to compromise the safety of his passengers.

A police inquiry was belatedly launched and police said last March they were close to completing it, but there has been no word since.

Ms Jaintong says people want to see action taken.

"I am speaking on behalf of the women of Bougainville and the parents and the victims that they have gone through , and even my own relatives, my brother's daughter, and we are all mourning. I can't wait to see the outcome and see someone like Mr Sharp to justice. Justice is very important - it has to be taken care of by the law enforcement organisations."

A women's leader in the PNG province of Bougainville, Therese Jaintong