ROYAL PAPUA NEW GUINEA CONSTABULARY MEDIA RELEASE
ROYAL PAPUA NEW GUINEA CONSTABULARY
Monday August 14th, 2017
My conscience is clear says Police Commissioner Baki
I am truly amazed by the comments coming from the public as well as from our elected leaders regarding the Prime Minister’s case and his warrant of arrest as well as calls for my resignation.
I have stated that I welcome the decision of the courts. However, as you would have gathered, the Court has issued a further stay on the warrant, thus preventing any police action.
I have stated that I will invite the Prime Minister to come in for an interview. The warrant of arrest is alive and will only end when the Prime Minister comes in for the interview.
That is my position and I will not change it. I want everyone to appreciate where I am coming from with regards to this particular issue.
Regardless of the allegations and the Warrant of Arrest Peter O’Neill is still an elected national leader and Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. Respect must be accorded to him regardless. Critics are calling on the police to arrest him on the streets like a common criminal. The presumption of innocence unless proven guilty in a court of law and his status as Prime Minister dictates that we treat him with a certain level of decency. Hence I will not arrest him in the streets but invite him to the police station where he will be interviewed.
Everyone seems to be passing judgement on the Prime Minister already. As a citizen he has exercised his right and taken the matter to the courts. That must be respected until the courts make a decision on his appeal.
As for the police, is it too much to ask that I, as the Commissioner of Police be fully briefed prior to the invitation of the Prime Minister, especially in light of the counter-allegations being levelled against my policemen. I want assurance that I have legs to stand on when we bring the Prime Minister in for the interview because at the end of the day I will be held responsible.
For some reason Director Fraud and Anti Corruption Chief Superintendent Mathew Damaru and his team have stubbornly refused to cooperate with the Commissioner’s Office over the last three years and have done their best to keep the file a secret from me and my predecessor. I have been given an executive brief but that is not the same thing as having access to and appreciating the file itself.
I am confident that the case would not have dragged on for so long had Mr Damaru made available the file either to myself or to the former police commissioner.
My integrity and reputation is on the line. I have worked hard to build it up over the last 45 years. I will do my job. I urge all the critics to stop being judgmental and give me the benefit of doubt.
Gari L. Baki, CBE, CStJ, DPS, QPM
Commissioner of Police
Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary