Kokopo arrests: Election manager confirms documents’ validity

The confidential Electoral Commission documents that were in the possession of the three detained PNGDF soldiers were tally sheets and electoral roll forms for Namatanai, says the East New Britain police.

Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Joseph Tabali said the provincial election manager, Joap Voivoi, was called in to confirm the validity of the documents when he was surprised to see tally sheets and electoral roll forms.

Police are now liaising with the Electoral Commissioner for the appropriate charges to be laid against the soldiers.

“PNGDF heads in Port Moresby have been made aware of the situation,” states Tabali.

He adds that they are now waiting on arrangements to be made for the soldiers to return to Port Moresby soon for further questioning.

​A flight that was supposed to leave East New Britain’s Tokua Airport, en route for New Ireland Province, was intercepted by Kokopo police Sunday morning.

Tabali said this came about after they received information alleging that some soldiers were on the flight upon a candidate’s request.

It was claimed that the flight was sponsored by National Alliance endorsed candidate for Namatanai, Walter Schnaubelt.

All 23 passengers disembarked from the plane and were taken to the Kokopo Police Station where they were searched and questioned.

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Annette Kora