44. The early results of our investigations

Paul Quinlivan’s Snapshots

I mentioned in No. 42 that I wrote a lengthy letter to the Crown Law Officer at the end of my second week on this assignment and these passages become important now:

9. Over the Easter and Anzac Day holidays we, Mr Grainger and myself, …(worked at) the rather enervating and unnerving job of questioning the Telefomins and a fairly settled picture is beginning to emerge (the letter then goes on to detail that picture in 26 sub-paragraphs).
13. We have had … (several “break-through” experiences). We also have had a witness explain his withholding of evidence by saying “Femsep told me to hide it”.
14. This latter witness and his explanation led to the opening of interesting new leads… There is now a definite possibility – but no evidence has “come out” yet – that the Harris attack was … triggered off … by Femsep of Terapdavip…
15. This is, of course, new territory and it may take time to open it up. … At the moment Femsep is free and at his village. It is better that he remain there … until something concrete either way is known. …

n the decades which have passed since that was written, several people stationed at Telefomin have written to me saying that it would appear that we did not discover Femsep’s involvement. We did not miss it. The trouble was that we could not prove it. Whenever it appeared that we were getting close, the potential witness would collapse in a faint and, on recovery, he would recant, blathering with fear.


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