By TONY PALME
A POLICE officer will spend his life in prison after the national court convicted him of wilful murder of two men in Tari, Hela two years ago.
Tari resident judge Justice Martin Ipang jailed Jeffery Buka, who was charged with the wilful murder of Albert Naki and Talewa Auwa on May 20, 2014, for life.
“The two deceased persons in this case were unarmed, defenceless and unprovocative on the date they both met their fate,” Ipang said in his judgment.
“They were there just to visit the funeral of the late Sir Matiabe Yuwi.
“They were innocent bystanders. Both were on the higher ground near Tari Airport fence.”
Ipang said both deceased were not part of the crowd that took part in a commotion between Tari Mayor Ken Arawi and police
“However, when the crowd saw Ken Arawi punched by police, it became rowdy,” Ipang said.
“The offender (Buka) panicked and without firing a warning shot, fired the first shot, killing the first deceased and subsequently fired his second shot killing the second deceased.
The offenders’ two shots were aimed at vital body parts of the two deceased, thus leaving no chances for both to survive.”
Buka apologised to the court for his actions and said that he was a first-time offender.
During the trial, the court heard that Buka, a policeman at that time, was based in Tari and was in the company of his other police officers patrolling the highway along the Homa area next to Tari Airport.
They approached a traffic jam caused by Arawi, who had parked his vehicle in the middle of the road, blocking traffic.
Buka was with other police members when they approached Arawi and directed him to remove his vehicle from the road.
But Arawi did not cooperate, which led to arguments and subsequent confrontations.
The crowd, who was there for the funeral feast of Sir Matiabe, became rowdy when it saw police punch Arawi.
The court found that Arawi ordered the public to kill the policemen.
By TONY PALME