Daily papers free to report on jail affairs

National, Normal

The National, Friday October 11th, 2013

 AN attempt by the Correctional Service to restrain the country’s two daily newspapers from publishing reports on the department has failed.

A magistrate sitting in Port Moresby District Court has dismissed an application for a restraining order by CS commissioner Martin Balthasar saying that “there was no cause of action on foot”.

As a result of the judgment made on Sept 2, the interim restraining orders issued on July 28 were stayed and discharged. The court ordered costs in favour of the defendants.

In the interim restraining orders, Balthasar was listed as the complainant with The National and the Post-Courier first and second defendants respectively.

The newspapers were restrained from publishing any unauthorised information regarding the Correctional Service Department and its instrumentalities pending the outcome of the substantive matter, any information relating to the department had to be authorised by the commissioner only for publicity, the two newspaper companies seek the approval of the commissioner before publishing information about the department and the two newspapers must, from the date of the order, consult the office of the commissioner pending the outcome of the substantive matter.

In the months leading up to the interim restraining order, the department been subjected to intense scrutiny over its operations after convicted bank robber and killer William Nanua Kapris escaped from Bomana maximum-security prison near Port Moresby.

The National had run a report on the sex saga at the prison involving Kapris on July 26 but was prevented from publishing a second report on CS operations at Wewak on July 28.