18 Jun 2014

PNG police chief arrested

7:11 pm on 18 June 2014

Papua New Guinea's newly appointed acting police commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, has been arrested and is likely to face a charge of perverting the course of justice.

It is the latest development in an increasingly fractious legal battle around police attempts to

question the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill with regard to his alleged role in huge illegal payments made to Paraka Lawyers.

Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Mr Vaki brought in a new lawyer to represent police as the Prime Minister successfully sought to hold off an arrest warrant served on him on Monday.

With the new lawyer in place, police on Wednesday morning agreed to the stay order which has been put in place for a week.

Our reporter says upset police later arrested Mr Vaki because they feel his actions involving the lawyer amount to perverting justice.

In addition Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Kauba has been stood down.

Mr Kauba had been prominent in his opposition to the appointment of Mr Vaki as Commissioner on Monday to replace Tom Kulunga, who some reports say was forced into retirement by the Cabinet.

Today's other development is the disbandment by the Cabinet of the Sam Koim anti-corruption team, Taskforce Sweep, from whose probe Mr O'Neill's arrest warrant stemmed.