PAPUA New Guinea's ex police chief Geoffrey Vaki has been sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of contempt for failing to arrest prime minister Peter O’Neill during a long running corruption probe.
Former police commissioner Vaki is expected to be soon taken into custody.
In June a court found Vaki guilty of contempt for failing to execute a district court arrest warrant issued last year for Mr O'Neill, and for later telling media any decision to arrest him was "a long way down the road".
Task Force Sweep chairman Sam Koim, who was in court today, told AAP the sentencing vindicated the court's authority.
"To my knowledge, three years is the highest penalty for contempt ever in this jurisdiction. This is how serious the court has treated the police commissioner's refusal to execute the warrant of arrest on (the prime minister)," he said.
"It is sending a strong message that all persons must observe the terms of the order."
Mr Vaki is expected to launch an appeal.
A police spokesman said he was aware of the verdict but was waiting for confirmation from the court.
The warrant for Mr O'Neill's arrest was obtained in June last year by fraud investigators who wanted to grill the prime minister over allegations he authorised the siphoning of millions of dollars in public cash to a law firm, a claim Mr O'Neill denies.