Court rejects Rapa’s bid

The National,Thursday June 16th, 2016

THE National Court has rejected an application by a University of Papua New Guinea student leader to stop police from arresting him.
Justice Derek Hartshorn rejected the application from Student Representative Council president Kenneth Rapa because the application was not in the interest of justice and the public.
Hartshorn said Rapa’s lawyer Laken Aigilo also failed to provide evidence in court that the police were going to arrest Rapa and the student leaders.
“There is no evidence of arrest,” Hartshorn said.
Named as defendants were Police Commissioner Gari Baki, Metropolitan Superintendent Benjamin Turi and NCD-Central divisional police commander Sylvester Kalaut.
None of the defendants appeared in court because the application was only filed and served in court yesterday morning.
Aigilo told the court that the orders he sought stemmed from the police shooting incident last Wednesday in which the students’ constitutional rights were breached.
But Hartshorn told Aigilo that there was “no evidence of arrest or breach of constitutional rights”.
Aigilo claimed that Turi wanted Rapa arrested and as a result, students were shot.
Aigilo also sought orders to:

  • Restrain police from occupying the UPNG campuses (Waigani and Taurama); and,
  • declare that the police shooting was an execution of the police orders, hence, they were in breach of the relevant constitutional provisions.

“The orders that you are seeking are not in the interest of the justice and the public,” Hartshorn told Aigilo.