Papua New Guinea leader's son Teo Abal on murder charge

Samuel Abal, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration of Papua New Guinea addresses the general debate of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly in 2009. UN Photo/Marco Castro
Image caption Sam Abal has promised there will be no protection for any family members accused of wrongdoing

The adopted son of Papua New Guinea's acting Prime Minister Sam Abal has been charged with murder.

It follows the discovery on Monday of a woman's body in the garden of Mr Abal's residence in the capital Port Moresby. Police say her throat was cut.

Teo Abal, 21, had been missing since the body was found but was detained on Wednesday.

Sam Abal is in charge of the government while the veteran leader, Michael Somare, recovers from heart surgery.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Abal said his family would co-operate with police and and not be treated differently from anyone else.

"The alleged murder took place within the perimeters of my private home," Mr Abal said in a statement published by the Post Courier newspaper.

"All family members living with me are immediate suspects and are subject to investigation and questioning by police," he said.

His son's arrest comes at an uncertain time in Papua New Guinea politics.

Mr Somare, who is 75, has led the country for almost half of its 36 years of independence.

His health failing, he stepped down in December 2010 to face a tribunal investigating misconduct for allegedly failing to submit full annual financial statements in the 1990s.

Mr Somare replaced his then deputy with Mr Abal, who is a close ally and had served as foreign minister.

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