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Wednesday 28 January 2015 | Published in Regional


PORT MORESBY – PNG’s National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop has pledged 50,000 kina for the funeral expenses of the two Hanuabada villagers shot last Friday, and offered to help in paying compensation “if police acted wrongly”.

“We pledge to fully co-operate with investigators to ensure that if police acted wrongly, we will assist to pay reasonable compensation, and assist in any criminal prosecution that arises,” he said.

He was responding to the death of two villagers after a National Capital District police unit raided the village in support of officers who were there earlier to enforce the betel nut ban.

“The killings and deaths were completely unnecessary and I join the relatives and community in the village to call for a quick investigation into the matter to bring those responsible to justice,” Parkop said.

“I am particularly and personally saddened that the deaths might have arisen as a result of police responding to a request from the villagers to clear out a betel nut market in the village. It is well known in the Motu Koitabu villages that even though betel nut vending and smuggling has been occurring in the villages in breach of the betel nut ban in the city, we have restrained our enforcers from imposing the ban in the villages as a sign of respect to our people and leadership of the Motu Koitabu.”

He said betel nuts had been sold openly in Tatana, Baruni, Hanuabada, Taurama and Pari – “but we have made no attempt to stop or shut them down since the ban was announced in October 2013”.