PNG POLITICIAN: ‘I NEVER SAID THE POLICE TRIED TO KILL ME’

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PNG POLITICIAN: ‘I NEVER SAID THE POLICE TRIED TO KILL ME’ Says paper misquoted him over shooting incident

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 27, 2009) – FORMER Kandep MP Don Polye claimed that he was misrepresented in The National yesterday.

He was referring to the front page report titled "Police tried to kill me, says Polye".

He claimed that he did not say that police tried to assassinate him, or that police shot at him.

"I never said police wanted to shoot me. I know the word assassination. I never used that word when talking to the reporter," he said.

Mr Polye admitted that shots were fired at his vehicle by police, but at that time he was elsewhere and not in his vehicle.

"I was not at that particular location. I was somewhere else, some eight or nine kilometers away.

Vehicles were shot at, and my vehicle was hit, among others.

"If bullets hit my vehicle, it’s an unfortunate thing and we need to investigate and find out," he said.

Mr Polye said the issue he raised was that the returning officer for the Kandep by-election and the police field commander did not do their jobs.

"The returning officer was wrong on cancelling polling in the three polling areas. The people got angry about this and took the law into their own hands. If security was an issue, there were about 300 fully armed police personnel who could have gone in and done the job."

In a press conference in Port Moresby yesterday afternoon, Police Commissioner Gari Baki said he had not received any report on the alleged attempt to kill Mr Polye.

"If police had fired on him, I should be the first person he should talk to. I do not have a report and he has not spoken to me about it," Mr Baki said.

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