Policeman guarding Singapore prime minister slain
ROTORUA, New Zealand (AP) _ A policeman assigned to guard visiting Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore was killed Monday by a robber who took the officer hostage, police reported.
Prime Minister David Lange, speaking with reporters in Wellington, ruled out any political motive and called the killing ″utterly deplorable.″
Rotorua police also said there was no connection to Lee, who has been staying at Moose Lodge at the Lake Rotoiti hot springs resort 250 miles north of Wellington since arriving in New Zealand Saturday.
They gave this account:
Officer Robin Dudding was waiting in a patrol car at the lodge to escort Lee to a forestry research project when a man armed with a shotgun who had robbed a nearby shop approached.
The robber fired a blast at another policeman standing guard outside the lodge, slightly wounding him, and then forced his way into the patrol car and ordered Dudding to drive away.
After driving about three miles with other police in pursuit, the robber shot Dudding and a police marksman then shot and woded the killer.
Police said the robber was taken to a hospital in nearby Rotorua but they did not identify him or give his condition.
Lange said Lee was inside the lodge, set far back from the entrance gate, and was not aware of the attack.
Lee expressed regrets at the officer’s death but continued with his schedule after a short delay while police determined the shooting was not linked to his visit.
Lee is to fly to Fiji Tuesday.