Expat Manus staff ‘to return from Australia’ over rape allegations

Detention centre operator Transfield Services flew the three men back to Australia after the incident in July when the local woman was allegedly found naked and unconscious in the male staff quarters.


Her father, whose identity SBS has withheld to protect the alleged victim, said Manus province police commander Alex N’Drasal told him the men would return shortly.

“The guys down in Australia have to fly back into the country, PNG, to Manus and the court case will convene as soon as possible, that’s what he told us, as directed by the prime minister” her father told SBS World News. 

“The program for today was that we were supposed to have a meeting with him (Commander N’Drasal) and PNG immigration, but they’re not available. I heard he flew from Manus to Port Moresby this morning.”

After the three men were repatriated to Australia with the knowledge of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill condemned their removal from PNG as a breach of sovereignty and demanded their return.

“How would you feel if it was the other way around,” the woman’s father said.

“I think you’d feel the same. I feel very angry and I want justice to prevail, that’s all I want.”

Commander N’Drasal would not comment on the case today when contacted by SBS.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection would not confirm if the men were being returned.

“The Australian Government is cooperating fully with local authorities on this matter and will continue to do so,” a spokesperson said.

Transfield Services and  subcontractor Wilson Security, the employer of the men, have been asked for comment.  

Local MP Ron Knight said he had been informed the three men would be returned.

“Apparently Transfield or immigration are chartering a plane and they should be back in the country by the end of next week,” he said.

“They’ll be brought back to Manus and charged accordingly.”

Mr Knight warned there could be trouble on Manus after the woman’s family and villagers seized two Transfield vehicles.

“If they are not returned, there’s going to be a huge problem. That was the first step, grabbing those vehicles, the next step is cutting off the airport,” he said.

Mr Knight said the vehicles were returned to Transfield undamaged after a few hours.

“I think they’ve realised the power of people here and they are toeing the line now,” he said.

“They want justice to prevail, that’s what they want.”