19 Jun 2014

PNG police rally for management

5:11 pm on 19 June 2014

Regional Papua New Guinea police commanders have reportedly arrived in Port Moresby to show support for the current police management in its legal wrestle with the Prime Minister.

This comes after the newly appointed acting police commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, was arrested on a charge of perverting the course of justice in relation to a major corruption case engulfing the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill.

This follows police attempts to question Mr 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 was appointed Commissioner on Monday to replace Tom Kulunga, who has retired after receiving a jail sentence last week for contempt of court.

After directing the arrest of Mr Vaki, the Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Kauba was yesterday stood down by the cabinet.

However, Mr Kauba has today been working as usual at police headquarters and most senior police officials have voiced their support for him.

As well as the police commanders of the Momase, Highlands and New Guinea Islands regions, the Police Association and union reprepresentatives are displaying solidarity with Mr Kauba.

Extra police units have been deployed across Port Moresby to try and ensure no civil unrest breaks out in response to the political uncertainty.