PNG police violence claims believable to NGO

9:36 pm on 25 November 2015
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Photo: AFP

Police management in Papua New Guinea has angrily dismissed claims by an Australian whistleblower that he witnessed extra-judicials killings by PNG police.

The unnamed man, an Australian Federal Police officer who served in PNG in 2013 and 2014, has been quoted in Australia saying he was shocked at the rapes, murder, and burning of a squatter settlement by PNG police officers.

The PNG police commissioner, Gari Baki, says the claims are rubbish and a pack of lies.

But a spokesman for the watchdog group, Transparency PNG, Lawrence Stephens, says, while he doesn't know about this specific case, in the past, police officers, moonlighting for private interests, have carried out such actions.

"It is believable that police officers could be engaged by companies with an interest in getting what we call squatters off valuable land, and that happens in many places."

However while the whistleblower revelations have raised doubts about claims about reform efforts among PNG's police force, questions remain over the integrity of the constabulary's top brass in light of a major fraud case.

Gary Baki was this month given a second contempt of court charge by the National Court.

The court has ordered Mr Baki to stop all investigations into chief superintendent Matthew Damaru and chief inspector Timothy Gitua.

These two have fallen offside with the hierarchy since they probed the role of prime minister Peter O'Neill in relation to alleged illlegal state payments to a law firm.

Mr Baki's first contempt charge was when he allegedly interfered with the execution of a warrant of arrest taken against treasury secretary Dairi Vele.

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