Govt official charged with harassing three colleagues


A GOVERNMENT official accused of repeatedly harassing three colleagues with text messages was read his charges in the Waigani Committal Court yesterday.
He is facing three counts of cyber harassment and is on bail to appear again on the 17th of next month.
Francis Tavatuna 38, from Iawakaka village in Rabaul, East New Britain, was arraigned by Magistrate Tracy Ganaii with cyber harassment of deputy secretaries of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL).
It was alleged that on Jan 21, Tavatuna sent text messages to the three (complainants) – Steven Mesa, Francis Daink and Steven Mombi. The complainants, who are state witnesses, alleged that Tavatuna repeatedly sent the messages as an act of repeated intimidation to them.
They then registered a complaint against Tavatuna.
Police investigations alleged that Tavatuna sent the text message which read: “I want to inform you three deputy secretaries that you all are pretending to support the current secretary (of) DAL, Daniel Kombuk, who has served 26 years with DAL.
“We have gathered all your intentions to destabilise the plans of the Marape and Steven Government on agriculture.
“Two of your deputy secretaries are complainants in the illegal actions of police lately which was termed as illegal in nature by the authorities. Your plans will not survive. Francis Tavatuna will investigate your dealings,” the text message read.
On Jan 22, Tavatuna allegedly sent a second message to Mesa which read: “Mesa you as the deputy secretary have failed to consult your secretary Daniel Kombuk on the illegal search warrant. You have failed to protect your immediate boss on illegal actions by policemen. You are not genuine.
“I ask you to immediately resign and vacate the office of the deputy secretary, corporate services, or otherwise I will come and deal with the three deputy secretaries in the office.
“You all are (swear) con deputy secretaries as you have illegally backstabbed your boss. I demand you vacate the office of the deputy secretary, corporate services, with immediate effect,” the alleged text message to Mesa read.
Tavatuna was also alleged to have sent messages to the three through his personal email.
The matter was reported to police to look into the alleged email sent to the complainants.
On Sep 29, after he was identified through the messages he allegedly sent, Tavatuna was located at Group Therapy, Konebada Petroleum Park and taken in for questioning.

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