BOUGAINVILLE MIRIUNG CASE NEARLY OVER

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 12, 2001 - Post-Courier)---Police have almost completed their investigations into the death of former Bougainville transitional government premier Theodore Miriung.

Police Commissioner John Wakon made the statement when providing a brief on major investigations conducted by police so far.

Mr. Miriung was gunned down on October 12, 1997, while having a meal with his family at his wife’s Kapana village, Konga, Southwest Bougainville.

Mr. Wakon said the Miriung case was a long and winding case. He said all that was needed was for the soldiers allegedly involved in the matter to be interviewed by police.

Mr. Wakon said police had completed their files in January this year and have requested that Brigadier-General Carl Marlpo appoint a senior officer to liaise with police on the matter.

He said a number of requests, both through letters and verbally, had been made to the Defense Force; however, police have not received a good response.

Regarding another matter, the passport and visa scam, Mr. Wakon said the matter had been referred to the National Anti-Corruption Agency.

The agency is comprised of officers from such departments as the Police, the Attorney General and the Auditor General.

Mr. Wakon said the agency was studying the foreign affairs visa and passport systems and would return after Easter to continue with their investigations.

He said other major cases police were currently working on include the National Gaming Control Board, where 10 arrests had been made.

Others include the Fly River Provincial Government (six arrests), Southern Highlands Provincial Government (four arrests), Public Curators Office (one arrest), the passport scam (two arrests) and the National Capital District Commission (23 arrests).

Mr. Wakon said investigations into the National Provident Fund were about to be finalized

He said there were other cases they were working on but they could not do everything at once.

Mr. Wakon said that considering there were only 26 officers in the National Anti-Fraud and Corruption Squad they were not doing too badly.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Provided by Vikki John ( VIKKI@law.uts.edu.au

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