Alotau has no magistrate to deal with cases, says Pokanis

Main Stories

THE chief magistrate and provincial authorities should decide how to deal with court cases and remanded people in Alotau now that there is no magistrate in the province, Correctional Services acting commissioner Stephen Pokanis says.
The province was left without a magistrate since the district court magistrate left after a recent incident that saw police houses burnt down by criminals and a legal officer shot and killed.
The death also included a mother and a boy.
Pokanis said it was up to the provincial authorities and the chief magistrate to make a decision on how to run court cases and trials and deal with remanded prisoners.
“We are to follow whatever instruction is given in the prison regarding those 11 suspects arrested by police,” Pokanis said.
The 11, police said, were part of Tommy Maeva Baker’s gang arrested in Alotau at the weekend, and would be transferred to Port Moresby to be charged.
Acting provincial police commander Inspector George Bayagau confirmed the arrests by a joint investigation team flown into the province recently.
“I cannot make further comment on the suspects as reports are yet to be received by my office,” he said.
He said the investigation team from Port Moresby were in charge of the investigation and reporting.