Kramer Clarifies O’Neill’s Warrant Of Arrest
Re-posted by Charlie Tikaro
Via Loop PNG
Police Minister Bryan Kramer has clarified that warrants of arrest are issued by a court of law after considering evidence.
Kramer was responding to claims levelled against him by former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, saying the warrant to arrest him for official corruption was politically motivated.
“The court does not issue a warrant based on politically motivated arrests,” stated Kramer.
“The court issued that warrant and they are directing the police Commissioner and every member of the force to arrest the accused – and in this case, Peter O’Neill, former Prime Minister – and bring him to court to answer to the charges.
“Unfortunately the former prime minister has gone into hiding, and he’s hiding out in a hotel room.
“One would expect that anyone who has nothing to hide would be happy to make himself available and allow the process to clear his name; respect that a warrant of arrest has been issued and go to court and clear his name.”
Kramer said he had filed a police complaint regarding this in 2014 but alleged that the process was frustrated by the previous government. He added that all outstanding cases have been opened under his leadership, and no particular attention will be given to any specific case.
Furthermore, O’Neill’s close protection officers have been stood down by the acting Police Commissioner.
“From the briefing I received, it’s because of their refusal to cooperate with police and even one officer was serving a letter, prepared by the lawyer of Mr O’Neill. It’s not a protection officer’s function to be serving lawyers letters,” said Kramer.
“Therefore, it showed that they had basically compromised in their position and therefore they were appropriately stood down. They are officers and command and control lies with the commissioner.
“Protection officers are there to only protect, not to protect an accused from any warrant of arrest,” clarified Kramer.
While the police maintain O’Neill was informed of the warrant, the former prime minister yesterday afternoon said he was not informed or presented with a warrant of arrest from any member of the Royal PNG Constabulary.
“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,” responded O’Neill.
“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.”
(File picture of Police Minister Bryan Kramer, left, and former PM Peter O’Neill)