PNG PM MORAUTA WANTS JUSTICE IN MIRIUNG BOUGAINVILLE ASSASSINATION

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 9, 2001 -- Radio Australia)---Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta says he will push for action to bring to justice the killers of the former Premier of Bougainville, Theodore Miriung, who was shot dead in 1996.

Radio Australia correspondent Richard Dinnen reports that the murder was investigated and findings delivered by an international jurist, but the killers have still not been arrested.

"Theodore Miriung was shot dead as he ate dinner with his family at his wife’s home in Kapana village in southwest Bougainville in October 1996.

"An independent inquiry by Sri Lankan judge Justice Suntheralingam concluded that Papua New Guinea soldiers or militia loyal to the Defense Force were either principals or accessories to the murder.

"Almost five years later, Justice Suntheralingams report has still not been acted on, and PNG police have not charged anyone in relation to the killing.

"In response to a question in Parliament, Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said he was not aware of the report, but would track it down and hand it to appropriate authorities for action.

"Previous questions in Parliament about the assassination of Premier Miriung have yielded answers suggesting police have not yet completed their inquiries.

"Richard Dinnen, Radio Australia, Port Moresby."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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