11 men released from jail

National

THE Buka District Court on Tuesday released 11 men from the Buka police lockup after they were illegally held for the past three months.
Magistrate Bruce Tasikul said his justice inspection at the Buka police lockup last Thursday revealed that a number of suspects were held in custody without being properly charged.
Conducting inspections of the cells was also part of a resolution passed at the recent Bougainville Law and Justice working committee meeting to address overcrowding.
There were also complaints from the public of people being held without being charged.
He consulted with the officer in-charge of police prosecutions and the criminal investigation division who reported that most of the detainees were held in their police cell for their own safety.
“While I appreciate their safety is important, it must also be noted that no person can be held in custody without a proper charge,” Tasikul said.
He said most of them were held for serious offences such as murder and had been detained since December without being properly charged.
“I gave the police officers two to three days to fast track the investigations on these people and lay charges but this did not eventuate so I ordered for their release back to their villages,” he said.
“Police need to step up in conducting their investigations to process the cases and not keep people in custody illegally and forget about them.”
He brought the concern with the Bougainville ACP Francis Tokura.
The Buin and Arawa police stations will also be targeted in his inspections this year.
Tasikul said police have been given a month to fast track cases of others held for serious offences.

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