PNG investigation identifies 8 police suspects in Mt Hagen election violence

Crimes division director Chief Inspector Joel Simatab
Crimes division director Chief Inspector Joel Simatab . . . "we have done our independent investigations." Image: PNG Post-Courier

By Marjorie Finkeo in Port Moresby

Eight policemen attached to Mt Hagen police division have been identified as suspects in an election-related shooting that resulted in four people killed and several others wounded on 6 August 2022.

The shooting took place in Anglimp-South Waghi electorate in Jiwaka province and investigations were completed last week.

The alleged shooting caught international media and election observers criticism, triggering the investigation.

Crimes division director Chief Inspector Joel Simatab said that primary reports — including the autopsy, post-mortems, eye witness statements and other evidence — had been compiled.

He said the public must be aware that investigations had been completed.

International observers’ ‘lot of noise’
“At that time we had international observers in the country who made a lot of noise about the security forces involved in the killing,” he said.

“And we responded, sending our detectives — two from NCD [National Capital District] and four from the Highlands region — who carried out the investigations,” he said.

“We want to give assurance that we have done our independent investigations and [are] now working with the Coroner’s office, going through their process to serve [the suspects] to come and give their side of the story before arrests are made.”

It was alleged that youths from the area blocked off the highway over frustrations over how elections were being conducted, which resulted in police shooting at them.

Marjorie Finkeo is a PNG Post-Courier journalist. Republished with permission.

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