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Vaki: I must study case

Staff Reporter 7/02/2014 | | |

PNG Police Commisioner says he must study case
ACTING Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki has given an assurance that he will not allow investigations into the K71.8 million payment to Paul Paraka Lawyers to be “contaminated by politics and people with vested interests”.
He appealed to everyone to exercise restraint, apply common sense and to allow the police to do their job without any undue influence.
“Consistent with the court decision (on Tuesday) and for the sake of accountability and transparency, I must independently assess and analyse
the investigations that were carried out prior to my appointment as
commissioner of police,” he said in a statement.
“I have only come onto the scene and need to be fully briefed on the case.
“I must know if the case has been properly investigated and whether there were any undue influences exerted on the investigation or the investigators.
“I need to be confident that the case is water-tight and can stand up in court.”
On Tuesday, the National Court rejected two separate applications by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Finance Minister James Marape for a stay order to stop the police from arresting them in connection with the payment to the legal firm.
The judge also said that it was up to the police commissioner whether to execute the warrants of arrest as such matters were up to the police.
Vaki said in his statement that he had assembled a team of officers to look into the matter “to allow for accountability and transparency and to remove the suspicion of the case being contaminated by politics and people with vested interests”.
It is understood that the case has been referred to Acting Asst Comm (Crimes) Donald Yomasombi.
Vaki met with the director of the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Division, Matthew Damaru, and the police director, Nicholas Miviri, who have taken over the investigations.
“We had a good, constructive meeting in which I informed the three officers that I do not intend to stop the investigations but as the head of the constabulary,  I needed to see the file to satisfy myself,” Vaki said,
“I am a career policeman. I have sworn to uphold the law and have lived by the rule of law for over 44 years as a policeman.
“I call upon everyone to give me the benefit of doubt and forget that we are talking about the prime minister of PNG, and hence, the need for thorough and careful examination of the case at hand”.

ONE PNG / The National

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