Manning: MPs, families must help with investigations


POLICE need the assistance of MPs, families and relatives when investigating sorcery accusation-related violence (Sarv) cases, says Commissioner David Manning.
“Police can investigate all they want,” he said.
“But we always hit a brick wall when it comes to getting statements from witnesses to the crime.”
Manning also questioned why relatives of Sarv victims accepted compensation. “Relatives and friends will close their mouths once compensation is paid,” he said.
“Why anyone (would) accept compensation from the perpetrators is beyond the comprehension of any human being.”
Manning said last year, for example, seven Sarv cases were reported, involving 12 women and three men.
But no one has been arrested.
The sorcery crimes were reported in Enga, Hela, Southern Highlands, National Capital Distruct, Western and Eastern Highlands.
Manning told The National in some cases, police were informed after the victims had been buried.
Police Minister William Onglo said accessibility to some of the villages when the crimes happened was also a challenge. “To get to a village, one has to drive for kilometers, then walks for another day or two,” he said. “Word reaches the villages, that police are coming.”
General-secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Fr Giorgio Licini, said: “The incident in November clearly told everybody that the time had come for an all-out war against the evil of Sarv which can be eradicated.”