Phone owners locked in cell

National, Normal

The National, Thursday July 11th, 2013

 TWO mobile phones were confiscated and the owners locked in the police cells at the Waigani National and Supreme Court house after their phones rang while the court was in session.   

Justice Stephen Kassman ordered the two men from Goroka, Eastern Highlands, and Wabag, Enga, to the accused box in the court room.

They were seated there before being taken to the police holding cells where they were questioned by the National Court Registrar Ian Augerea.

He warned the pair that offences such as not switching off mobile phones when entering the courtroom, especially when the court was in session (although it may seem minor), could result in them being imprisoned for as long as the judge wanted as the offences amounted to contempt of court. 

Kassman was presiding over an objection to competency application by National Capital District  Governor Powes Parkop to dismiss an election petition by Michael Kandiu when he was disrupted by the loud ringing of the mobile phones.

The judge said their attitude was a sign of disrespect to the court and its officials.

The two men were held for a few hours and released in the afternoon.