O'Neill says he was not informed of arrest warrant

Former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he was not informed or presented with a warrant of arrest from any member of the Royal PNG Constabulary.

In a statement released today, O'Neill said: “I have seen the social media statement put out by the Acting Commissioner, on the direction of his close acquaintance the current Police Minister, saying there is a warrant for my arrest.

“The fact that the Acting Commissioner would choose to make this announcement on social media, and not through official representation to my office, is telling that this is a political move.

“If this was a serious matter, not a political power play, a formal process would be in place that would have seen legal representation made to my office.

“The claims made by the Acting Commissioner are false and fabricated in a clumsy way by the Police Minister and relate to renovations to the Yagaum Health Centre in Madang, which happen to be the province of the Police Minister.

“The question must also be asked, since when is it criminal to help community projects for health and education? If someone has mismanaged the funds, they should be dealt with, not people trying to assist.

“As Prime Minister I was never the custodian of the funds sent to Madang for the Yagaum Health Centre for renovations to repair the run-down hospital.

“This blatant interference in police operations must be referred to the Ombudsman Commission for investigation.

“I will make myself available at any time to hear this complaint, but I warn any member of the RPNGC who might be part of the Police Minister’s political unit, to think carefully and respect and honour the oath you swore to our Nation.”

In a statement released earlier today by acting Police Commissioner David Manning, it was reported that the warrant was obtained upon the weight of the evidence brought forward by investigators.

Manning said under his leadership, he will not allow investigations to be politicised or allow people with vested interests to use the police for personal vendetta or a witch hunt.

Police further said they had contacted O’Neill this morning and requested that he accompany them to the Boroko Police Station to be processed. “He has refused to cooperate with police thus far,” said Manning.

Press release