Cops facing murder charge


FOUR Port Moresby-based police officers will stand trial from next Monday at the Waigani National Court for the murder of a man two years ago.
Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika set the trial date for Sergeant Philip Pokop, from Manus, Constable Ian Gunawi, from East Sepik, Constable Lawrance Sausau, from Manus and Chief Inspector Mariah Jones to Monday, Nov 20, after lawyers of both parties told the court that they were prepared to proceed to trial.
The four police officers were charged with the murder of Salle Naime Tom on June 17, 2015 at Tatana village, outside the National Capital District.
The defence lawyer told the court that they were waiting for anther co-accused, Lawrence Wellen, from Manus, but he was not committed to stand trial at the National Court.
Sir Gibbs told the State lawyers that they should talk with the public prosecutor on whether they would present an indictment against Wellen so he would appear with the others during trial. Sir Gibbs also told the State lawyers to do that before Monday. The court heard that the officers went to Tatana village to arrest the deceased who was a suspect in the murder of the late Harold Farapo.
The court was told that after obtaining information from a boy from Tatana village, the officers drove to the village in a convoy of vehicles to pursue the suspect. The officers allegedly shot him when he was trying to swim away from them. He was taken to the hospital but died on arrival, the court heard.