Police fear payback for Papua New Guinea leader

June 16, 2011 - 11:11 PM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Police have increased security around Papua New Guinea's acting prime minister for fear of a traditional revenge attack after his son was accused of murdering a woman at the family home.

Police spokesman Dominic Kakas said Friday that a cordon had been thrown around Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal's house in the capital, Port Moresby, where police allege his 21-year-old son, Theo Abal, slashed the throat of a 29-year-old hostess he met in a bar Monday.

The cultural practice of payback has a long tradition in the South Pacific's most populous island nation. A murder victim's clan often takes out revenge on the killer or his family.

Kakas said the youngest of Sam Abal's two sons will be charged with willful murder.