Tuesday, April 03, 2012

PNG's ferry disaster inquiry set to begin


The Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the MV Rabaul Queen ferry in Papua New Guinea, is set to begin investigations after Easter.
The announcement came after the PNG Government released funds to cover the initial hearings.
The MV Rabaul Queen sunk off the coast of Morobe province in February, killing more than 200 people.
Mal Varitimos, who is acting as counsel assisting the Commission of Inquiry, told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat the inquiry will report on six terms of reference.
"The first is the facts about the disaster, which occurred on the 2nd of February 2012 when the MV Rabaul Queen capsized and sank," the Australian lawyer said.
"The second is to consider the cause of the disaster, the third is to inquire and report into evidence leading to any criminal acts contributing to the disaster.
"Fourthly, evidence leading to any civil responsibility. Fifthly, the reasons why the loss of lives obtained such magnitude and also to present proposals adding measures that would help to prevent the future occurrence of a similar disaster or may assist future search, rescue and recovery of disaster victims."
Mr Varitimos says the hearings are proposed to start in the capital Port Moresby on April 11, and will take place in different locations.
He says the Commissioner, Justice Warwick Andrew, will deliver the inquiry report by June 30.

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