Soldier detained over death

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A WESTERN community leader at the Papua New Guinea (PNG)-Indonesian border is believed to have been fatally beaten up by a PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) soldier, acting South Fly commander Sr Insp Ewai Segi says.
“Tom Koumbuimu, 57, died at the Daru General Hospital on Saturday, a week after hospitalisation,” he said.
Sr Insp Segi said he had yet to receive an official police report from Koumbuimu’s relatives to start investigations.
PNGDF commander Maj-Gen Gilbert Toropo said the soldier had been removed from Daru and was now in military detention at the Murray Barracks in Port Moresby.
“I am yet to receive the investigation report on the whole episode and the death of the leader,” he said.
“But, the soldier allegedly involved in the killing is under military police custody and talking to police.
“Once the full investigation is completed, decisions will be made.
“I have also spoken to Western Governor Awi Yoto and the administrator and assured them that the PNGDF will cooperate to fast track investigations.”
Meanwhile, Morehead local level government president Robert Karum said that they would petition the police to conduct the investigation into the murder of Koumbuimu from Wando village.
“From sketchy reports, Koumbuimu was walking along the road when the soldier picked him up and brought him to the military outpost where he was beaten,” he said.
“He was then rushed to the hospital. Koumbuimu was a private building contractor.”