Keep leaders out: PM O’Neill

PORT MORESBY  (THE NATIONAL) – Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says politicians or leaders will not be allowed to interfere with investigations into the Mendi unrest.

He said law enforcement agencies would be left to do their job independently to arrest and charge those responsible for the mayhem.

“Many times, in the country our leaders tend to go in and interfere with the investigations and we don’t arrest the people for the criminal acts that they have done,” O’Neill told a media conference in Port Moresby.

“Sometimes we allow compensation to come in and undermine the legal process.

“That’s why we have the State Of Emergency there.

“And we have given the law enforcement agencies directions for the rules of engagement on the ground.

“We will allow the rule of law to take its course.

“Acting Police Commissioner Jim Andrews said that he has put a team that will immediately be dispatched to Mendi to investigate and to make sure that appropriate charges are laid on people involved in the incidents (burning down of Link PNG plane and government properties).

“Many of these people involved in the burning are known to the community.

“So we don’t expect the investigation to go longer.

“We want to make sure that we don’t allow people to take the law into their own hands.”

Meanwhile, O’Neill said that situation in Mendi had returned to normal.

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