Australian, PNG police in talks on rape case

Australian and Papua New Guinean police are in talks over the return of three former Manus Island detention centre workers implicated in the alleged rape of a local woman.

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The woman’s father said yesterday he had been told by PNG police the men would be returning shortly.

Detention centre operator Transfield Services flew the three men out of PNG after the incident in July.

The local woman was allegedly found naked and unconscious in the male staff quarters of the Australian-run detention centre.

“There are discussions between the PNG police and the AFP and I’ll leave that for the AFP,” said Immigration and Border Protection minister Peter Dutton.

Mr Dutton refused to comment on when the men might be returned or by what legal means, as Australia does not have an extradition treaty with PNG.

The Australian Federal Police has been contacted for a response.

Manus MP Ron Knight has warned there could be trouble on the island if the three Australians, who work for Transfield Services subcontractor Wilson Security, are not returned to face justice.

The men were repatriated to Australia with the knowledge of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill condemned their removal as a breach of sovereignty and demanded their return.

Mr Knight has previously said there have been numerous incidents where detention centre staff have been removed before they could be interviewed by local police.

Mr Dutton also refused to comment on the removal to Australia of two detention centre workers allegedly drink driving resulting a car crash last week.

“Both staff members are in a stable condition and have been transferred to Australia to receive medical treatment,” the department said in a statement to SBS World News

Mr Dutton said Australians are treated like anyone else in PNG and should co-operated with local authorities.

“If there is an allegation of an offence being committed in Papua New Guinea, the PNG police will properly investigate that and people should provide assistance and there is no question about that,” he said.

“That would apply to contracted staff there, visitors, people who are working up there in mines, many other Australians who visit PNG each year. There is no special treatment for people here. The law applies equally to all people in PNG.”