Workplace Assault On PNG Corruption Investigator Condemned

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Opposition leader calls for perpetrator to be arrested

By Grace Tiden

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 6, 2015) – Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye has condemned the assault of top anti-corruption investigator Mathew Damarus by a lawyer in relation to his job application at the police fraud squad division in Port Moresby last week.

Mr Damaru is the director of the national fraud and anti-corruption command at the police headquarters at Konedobu.

Mr Polye had called on police to arrest the suspect and charge him with assault under the Criminal Code.

"Assaulting colleagues is unbecoming and unprofessional and it should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

"Mr Damarus is in charge of high profile fraud-related cases like Parakagate, and such attacks have the potential to send a shock wave of anxiety among our people," he said.

Mr Polye said aggrieved colleagues should not resort to assault to solve differences at the work place, adding that life was all about accepting defeat, to learn from one’s mistakes and to make informed decisions.

Mr Damarus was allegedly assaulted for rejecting the lawyer’s application for a higher position in the police force because he was not a uniformed policeman, and secondly because of his past links with some high-profile personalities under current police investigations.

The Opposition Leader agreed with this justification, saying this was clearly a conflict of interest situation, which would compromise ongoing investigations although it was unfortunate Mr Damarus was assaulted in the process.

Mr Polye said Mr Damaru was at the forefront of upholding the laws of the land and was discharging his duties diligently without fear or favour.

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