By JAMES APA GUMUNO
SOME prominent people in the Western Highlands province are wanted by police in relation to the burning down of the Kapal Haus 14 months ago.
The iconic building houses the provincial headquarters, and was named after one of the province’s former premiers Philip Kapal.
It was razed to the ground in October, a crime that stunned Western Highlanders.
Metropolitan Commander Chief Insp Peter Roari said investigations would widen as police seek to question more people.
He said this after police detained one of the suspects two weeks ago.
The person detained is described by police as a key player in the burning down of the Kapal Haus last year.
Chief Insp Roari said the suspect, identified by court officials as Jerry Kevin of Mt Hagen, was arrested and charged with arson.
He was also charged with being in possession of an unlicenced firearm, a .38 revolver pistol.
Kevin appeared before the Mt Hagen District Court last Thursday and pleaded guilty to the firearm charge.
But he pleaded not guilty to the arson charge.
The suspect was refused bail and is now locked up in the Mt Hagen police cell awaiting further court appearance.
Chief Insp Roari said Kevin’s arrest was a big break-through after police carried out their investigation.
Five other key suspects are still on the run.
The arrest of Kevin was made by the second investigating team Chief Insp Roari set up after the first investigation team was disbanded in September.
This team is seeking evidence and more information that would lead to the arrest of the five suspects believed to be involved in the burning down of the building.
Chief Insp Roari believed investigations would lead to the questioning of some prominent figures in the province.
But he expressed concern that people in the province were not cooperating with the police in bringing those responsible to justice.
Chief Insp Roari said people knew about those involved in the crime, but were reluctant to come forward with vital information.
“This is very bad for the society because, in future, people involved in major crimes would escape without facing justice.”
He said community involvement was important if society were to punish those who did wrong.
Meanwhile, police moved in and stopped a company that was clearing up the debris around the Kapal Haus ruins.
Police stopped the clearing work because the area is still a crime scene under investigations.