PNG POST-COURIER STANDS BY ITS STORY

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 4) - Acting Prime Minister Don Polye has asked police and the Attorney General to investigate this newspaper, claiming it published a forged document, which purported to reveal plans to disband the PNG Defence Force board of inquiry.

He said a scribbled note to Mr. Polye on a copy of a National Gazette, was forged and fabricated by people who wanted to discredit him and the Government’s top legal draftsman.

"After checks with the Office of the First Legislative Counsel it is clear that Mr. Hudson Ramatlap’s signature had been falsified and the note was fabricated by persons with a motive to discredit (the) Acting Prime Minister and the First Legislative Counsel," Polye said in a statement.

The Post-Courier yesterday maintained its support for its report and said it would stand by it.

The paper trusted its sources and welcomed the police investigation.

Polye said, "Neither (Prime Minister) Sir Michael (Somare) or myself have asked the Office of the First Legislative Counsel to disband the PNGDF Inquiry."

Polye said the signature on the published document did not match Ramatlap’s.

"I am currently speaking with the Office of the Attorney-General and the Police to make further investigations into this forgery and pursue court action against the Post-Courier.

"The procedure is that the Governor-General signs instruments that are then published by the Government Printer as a National Gazette. This particular gazettal notice number 232 was only signed by Sir Paulias (Matane) on Thursday 28 December 2006.

"The Office of the Legislative Counsel only received its copy on Tuesday, 2 January 2007," he said.

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