Funding delay holds up work at condemned cells


A TEAM from the health authority in Madang has visited the condemned cell blocks at Jomba police station as authorities move to comply with a court order and have it renovated.
National Court judge Justice David Cannings has ordered that the provincial administration and police enforce a human rights emergency at the police station cell block.
Provincial health director Markus Kachau and his team have visited the cell blocks and are now awaiting instructions.
Police are waiting for K25,000 from the provincial government to pay for the cleaning and repair of the cell blocks as ordered by Justice Cannings.
Justice Cannings ordered the provincial government to make available a payment of K50,000 by yesterday, of which K25,000 was to be paid to the contractor so the keys to the new facilities could be released and used immediately.
Cannings ordered Police Commissioner Gari Baki to ensure that the balance due to the contractor is paid in full by Jan 31.
The Jomba police lockup has been declared unfit for human occupation. Only one of the four toilets is usable, and the cell floor is wet and stinks.
There were 92 detainees there on Dec 1. On Friday the 54 remaining there appeared in court. Justice Cannings ordered that 36 detainees be released and 17 to go to Beon prison.
Yesterday, only one detainee remained in the cell.