20 Jun 2014

PNG's Vaki insists police unified

1:52 pm on 20 June 2014

Papua New Guinea's new acting Police Commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, says the force is unified and has urged the public not to panic about the past week's changes in the top hierarchy.

The Post Courier reports that Mr Vaki held a press conference to reassure the public that he has the confidence of the constabulary.

Shortly after his appointment, Mr Vaki was arrested on Wednesday on charges of perverting the course of justice in relation to a major corruption case engulfing the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill.

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 on Wednesday was stood down by the cabinet.

Simon Kauba appeared to have the support of other senior officers to be the next Commissioner after Kulunga.

However Mr Vaki told local media that while some officers may be aggrieved, that doesn't mean police are divided.

Two of his deputies, Jim Andrews and Awen Sete, have also issued statements saying that the force is unified and will pursue investigations without fear or favour.

He says there will be a formal handover next week.