In a statement, Acting Commissioner David Manning said: “Whilst I cannot reveal any specific details at this point in time due to the sensitivity of the investigations, I can confirm that police investigators in an ongoing investigation applied to the district court for the arrest warrant for Mr O’Neill which was granted last Friday.
“The warrant was obtained upon the weight of the evidence brought forward by the investigators.
“The warrant of arrest is now in the process of being served on Mr O’Neill. He will be processed by police after which he has the right to bail and defend himself in court. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law so Mr O’Neill’s constitutional rights are being respected in that regard.
“Investigations into this particular case involving the former prime minister has been ongoing and the weight of the evidence that came to light before the police detectives necessitated an application to be made to the courts for a warrant of arrest.
“We have made it very clear when we came into office that we will look into all outstanding criminal cases of national significance including police shootings as well as high level corruption cases.
“Rest assured that under my leadership I will not allow police investigations to be politicised nor allow for people with vested interests to use the police for personal vendetta or a witch-hunt. Investigations that can stand up to rigorous scrutiny and checks and balances will be allowed to progress into the arrest stage. Under my leadership I will not allow some of the reckless behaviours of the past where arrests were made without credible evidence,” continued Manning.
“All other outstanding cases are also being pursued with this in mind and details will be made known to the public going forward as and when warranted.
“By way of update, as of this morning Mr O’Neill was located at the Crown Hotel in Port Moresby. The Acting Deputy Commissioner Operations Mr Donald Yamasombi has made contact with Mr O’Neill and has requested directly to him that he accompany him to Boroko Police Station to be processed. As we speak he has refused to cooperate with Police thus far.
“Now my appeal as the Acting Commissioner of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to Mr O’Neill is to avail himself to investigators and allow due process to be completed.”