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PNG Post-Courier

Deputy Police Commissioner Operations Anton Billie has given the green light for Papuan New Guinean police in the National Capital District to carry out a major eviction operation.

Settlers who have built their homes on land at the back of the University of PNG, bordering with Gerehu stage 3B and Morata stage one suburbs, will be forced to leave — if they do not comply with the court-ordered eviction notice handed out earlier.

Last week Deputy Commissioner Billie had stopped his men from carrying out the eviction because the court order was “not clear” and he feared that there could be legal repercussions for police involvement — especially with such a huge eviction operation involving many families.

The Post-Courier's front page report 26012022
The Post-Courier’s front page report on the stalled mass settler evictions earlier this week. Image: Post-Courier screenshot APR

On Tuesday, Billie was served a notice to rescind his decision by the proprietor of the land, Sixth Estate Limited, and on Wednesday, after seeking advice from his legal team, he gave the okay for the eviction exercise to start.

He explained to the Post-Courier newspaper the stop notice was to ensure that the eviction exercise was legally correct and everything was in order.

Civil issues must be clarified
“We have our own legal directorate and any civil issues in nature must be clarified first,” he said.

“This is basically to safeguard the police force and state because on numerous occasions we’ve been taken to court on issues like an eviction exercise done without proper consultation,’’ said Deputy Commissioner Billie.

“My decision was not intended to stop the court order but to get legal clarification into the matter at hand, which must be clarified by the legal team. And, after receiving clarification on the matter, I will let the police execute forthwith and without delay the eviction exercise.

“The eviction will be carried out anytime next week.”

Republished with permission.

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Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

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