Officers wrongly charged: Lawyer

The National, Thursday July 14th, 2016

The lawyer of two police officers who allegedly forced a woman to swallow condoms says they were wrongly charged and the matter should proceed as a civil matter.
He claimed the officers were on duty at the time of the alleged offence so it should be a civil matter rather than a criminal one.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar however said he would look at submissions before making a ruling on Aug 3.
The lawyer representing Joshua Yawijah, 22 and of Maia village, Pangia, Southern Highlands, and 23-year-old Jacklyn Tanda, of Sakarip village, Wabag in Enga, yesterday filed the application to have the case proceed as a civil matter in the Human Rights Court.
Bidar said he would have to look at the submissions.
The lawyer argued that because Yawija and Tanda were on formal duty and the incident happened, the case should proceed as a civil matter
He claimed that the defendants were wrongly charged.
The lawyer said the officers were discharging their lawful duties so the State should be sued instead of the defendants having to face court.
He also submitted that the case should be struck out because there was an abuse of processes by investigating officers.
The lawyer filed submissions on insufficiency of evidence in response to police briefs.
Bidar said the defence had “two bites on the same sharing” which he would look at.
“In the event that the application was not successful, the counsel will rely on the submission of insufficiency of evidence,” he said.
Bidar said the case had been going on for quite some time.
Yawija is facing allegations that on Dec 4 last year, he forced a woman to chew and swallow two condoms at the Boroko police station while in the company of Tanda and another police officer.
Police alleged that the woman was forced to swallow two condoms after they searched her possessions and found seven condoms.
Tanda allegedly recorded the incident which went viral on social media.
They both were arrested and charged with deprivation of personal liberty, forcing someone to do an indecent act and abuse of office.
Both officers are on an extended bail of K1000.