1 Jul 2014

PNG PM arrest up to Police chief

9:20 pm on 1 July 2014

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister says he will leave it to the Police Commissioner to decide on whether to seek his arrest after a national court ruling dismissed an application for a stay on the arrest warrant.

Peter O'Neill applied to have the warrant put aside, after police issued it over the Prime Minister's alleged involvement in corrupt payments from the government to a law firm.

Justice Ere Kariko has ruled today that the court shouldn't interfere with a police investigation.

Following the ruling, Mr O'Neill told a press conference that he has no intention of running away from his responsibilities.

He said it is up to the Police Commissioner to determine whether there is a case for him to answer.

Our correspondent, Todagia Kelola, says that Mr O'Neill pronounced that he respects the court decision.

"The Prime Minister basically emphasised that he welcomed the court's decision, and said that the courts cannot interfere with police work. And the Prime Minister basically said if the new Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki requests him to go in for an interview, he will promptly go in for that interview."

Todagia Kelola says that the National executive Council have now formalised Geoffrey Vaki's appointment as the permanent Police Commissioner.

Meanwhile, Mr O'Neill's lawyer, Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, says the court's decision was unusual and there are grounds for appeal.

Ms Twivvey says her team could have made a lot more legal arguments, and will now consider their options.