Thursday, February 24, 2011

Madang cop arrested over deaths

The National - Thursday, February 24, 2011
A ROGUE policeman based in Bogia was arrested Tuesday afternoon on four counts of attempted murder and three counts of unlawful killing with firearm and other related charges still pending.
However, he was not locked up at the male holding cell at Jomba but kept within the confines of Jomba police station.
Assistant Commissioner Police Momase Giossi Labi was surprised that his instructions to lock up the policeman were defied.
Labi when asked to verify the report said that the policeman (named)  “should have been locked up and not held in custody”.
According to police reports, the suspect, with several other policemen who could not be confirmed whether they were part of the auxiliary police unit, stopped a 15-seater bus on Feb 16 around midnight asking for “valid papers from the driver to pass, or buy a carton”.
The incident occurred at the White Sand Market area, a few kilometres from Bogia station.
While the conversation ensued, a Toyota Landcruiser 10-seater, belonging to the son of Tewai- Siassi MP Vincent Michaels, pulled up with seven occupants.
The seven were Junior Bon, 20; Andrew Konny, 30; Rigen David, 34; Angu Sei, 24; Pirol Herry, 31; Titus Osi and Abobo Sarus. The latter three have all died, the first as a result of sepsis (or infection) and the other two from loss of blood that same night.
 According to Bon, the driver of the vehicle, they pulled up at the random road block and were asked their destination. When he sought directions about the place from his friends, being new to the area, he caused the policemen to become suspicious.
They were told to alight the vehicle and told to crawl on the limestone road, where the first three were shot at close range while crawling.
According to police, a bag of 100kg of marijuana was found in the car.
Bon said that the vehicle was hired by the late Osi and Sarus but he denied knowledge about  what was on board.
“I gave them details about myself but they manhandled, gun butted and hit us with fan belts, took us to Bogia police station, where in full view of other policemen, they told us to lie face down on the grass and shot us all in the legs,” he said.
Other allegations levelled against the suspect, according to police, were drunken behaviour while on duty, collection of un-receipted fines from road blocks, threatening and abusing families of two campaign managers, the unwarranted shooting of a teenager two days before the shooting of the seven.
Labi in denouncing the suspect’s actions said, “As a trained policeman, he should know why and when to use and how to use a firearm. The onus is on him and he should be held accountable for his actions.”
The suspect will appear in the commital court this morning for mention.

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