Papua New Guinea
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Main suspect in helicopter shooting during 2022 National General Elections arrested

Police have arrested the main suspect in the shooting of a helicopter hired by police during the 2022 National General Election in Kompiam, Enga Province.

The suspect, Peter Yakos, is also the main suspect in the killings and the burning of Kompiam Station. He was arrested and charged with five counts of wilful murder, and one count of arson.

Police Commissioner David Manning said the investigation into the various crimes carried out in Kompiam during the 2022 National General Election continues.

“New evidence has come to light of the involvement of senior provincial and national leaders in Kompiam during the election in 2022,” Mr Manning said.

“Telephone messages reveal Peter Yakos allegedly planning and giving instructions for the murders and arson, and the messages further implicate the active involvement of a politician in the violence, death and destruction that occurred.

“Our investigation continues, but the information we have uncovered thus far is concerning. It is a sorry state of affairs when the government is working to end violence and we find that leaders are encouraging these crimes to be committed.”

The Commissioner said following the recent killings in Wapenamanda, two additional mobile squads have been deployed into the area to assist the Enga Provincial Police Command restore law and order.

“Two of the Engan based mobile squads are actively involved in restoring law and order in the Porgera and Laiagam districts.

“Our presence in the province has been to prevent further death and destruction of property, and we are taking control and prevent more people being killed and houses and properties destroyed.

“A fight in the Kandep has already left 22 killed, and other fighting in Laiagam has resulted in the killing of six people and 20 in Wapenamanda.

“We are facing serious law and order situation in the province and engaging security personnel and applying strategies to stop those fights from escalating. This includes active involvement of provincial and national leaders from the province to engage and take responsibility.

“We are aware that leaders, whether politicians, business people or senior bureaucrats, command a lot of respect from their people. They have a responsibility and a mandate to be positive influencers for law and order.

“I call on relevant leaders to step up and help bring back peace and restore the rule of law in the Enga Province,” Mr Manning said.