Damaru arrested

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The National,Friday June 17th, 2016

A SENIOR police officer has been charged with abuse of office and depriving liberty over the recent prosecution of senior judge Sir Bernard Sakora.
National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate director Chief Superintendent Mathew Damaru underwent about four hours of interrogation yesterday afternoon at the police Internal Affairs Unit at Badili before he was charged with the two offences.
The unit’s director Superintendent Robert Ali confirmed that it was to do with the recent case involving Justice Sir Bernard, who was arrested and charged by officers from the directorate with judicial corruption. His case was dismissed last week Tuesday by Waigani Committal Court Magistrate John Kaumi.
Sir Bernard was arrested by officers from the directorate on April 11 as he was driving out of his Gordon residence in Port Moresby.
He was accused of allegedly receiving K100,000 from a company owned by a lawyer in September 2009.
His lawyer Loani Henao argued that the payment received by Sir Bernard was for a commercial transaction and had nothing to do with his judicial duties.
Henao said he planned to file a law suit against the State for malicious prosecution.
Kaumi ordered the refund of the K1000 bail money to Sir Bernard saying he had been prosecuted improperly and illegally and that the committal court had no jurisdiction to deal with it.
He said the charge required the direction from the Public Prosecutor before prosecution could proceed –which he could not see any evidence of.
Ali said Damaru was last evening charged with one count each of abuse of office and depriving liberty. He was later released on a K500 bail from the Waigani police station.
He is expected to appear before the Waigani District Court for committal proceedings.
Damaru said after Sir Bernard’s case was dismissed last week they would take another legal approach to the case.
He said they had not completed investigating the case which he regarded as important.