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Papua New Guinea mutiny leader arrested

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The leader of last week's failed military mutiny in Papua New Guinea appeared in a Port Moresby court on Sunday (January 29), following his arrest overnight. Retired Colonel Yaura Sasa, who led last week's attempt to restore Michael Somare to power, was charged under the criminal code with incitement to mutiny, a police spokesman told Reuters. According to police, he gave himself up and was cooperative, and after being interviewed he was arrested and charged. ABC Australia showed Sasa outside court, where he said police were not following proper procedures, as he was given no access to a lawyer earlier. "They charged me with mutiny," Sasa replied. Asked by the reporter, "How are you pleading to that?" Sasa replied, "No, I plead not guilty." Sasa indicated his troops are still armed and loyal to him. The police spokesman told Reuters that criminal proceedings against Sasa would begin as soon as an investigation has been completed. He said police had appealed to the retired colonel to tell his supporters to lay down their weapons and let the courts deal with the issue. "In the event, what happens, I must go and talk to the troops to stop this. Because my absence can mean something," replied Sasa. "You're hoping it takes the heat out of the situation?" questioned the reporter. "No, it may, but it may not," replied Sasa. "Do you want the situation to cool down?" asked the reporter. "I must stop this. I must stop this situation from getting out of hand," said Sasa. When asked if he regretted his actions, Sasa replied, "No, I don't. I was carrying out the government's orders. That's all." After the court hearing, Sasa was bundled into a police vehicle with heavily armed guards, and taken to Boroko Police Station in Port Moresby. Sasa led a mutiny on Jan. 26 in which soldiers captured and briefly detained the armed forces chief, Brigadier General Francis Agwi, who was released later the same day. Sasa said at the time he had been appointed as commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force by Somare. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill declared the mutiny over late on Jan. 26, but a small group of soldiers remain at Taurama barracks, where they have been demanding a full pardon. The mutiny follows a long-running power struggle between O'Neill's camp and Somare's supporters, who say that Somare was ousted as prime minister last year illegally.Auteur: reutersTags: and Cut Guinea Ret narration New Yaura denies failed Moresby Gepost: 29 januari 2012Beoordeling: 0.0Stemmen: 0]]>

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