Police conduct irks judge

National
Source:
The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

 By DAPHNE WANI
Waigani National Court judge Justice Hitelai Polume-Kiele,  disgusted with the way some police officers have been conducting themselves, ordered the arrest of lawyer and Chief Inspector Stanley Poga last Friday.
Poga has been charged with contempt and is to answer the charge at a court appearance later this month.
The contempt is in relation to the arrest of Malaysian businessman Peter Ling Koh Woo.
Ling was deported on Saturday although he had immigration issues pending in court.
Kiele ordered that Poga be detained until the registry prepared his charge.
He was charged with breaching a National Court order issued on June 17 to stop police officers from further arresting Ling and to refrain from implicating any form of harassment, threat or intimidation against him.
Ling and his lawyer Greg Shepherd were outside the Waigani Committal Court room nine when Poga allegedly confronted them last Thursday.
Poga allegedly pushed Shepherd who fell to the floor in front of the court room where a magistrate was presiding.
Poga allegedly detained Ling and took him in a vehicle to the Immigration office where he was charged with immigration offences.
Poga said he was acting on removal orders from the Immigration minister.
He said Ling was charged under the Migration Act and that he was trying to conduct his normal police duty as a commissioned officer when he was obstructed by Ling’s lawyer Shepherd.
Kiele told Poga that despite receiving the National Court order dated June 17, he and two others continued to ignore it.
Kiele said for a police officer to disobey a clear court order was of great concern.
“Instead of running to the police, people are running away from the police because they cannot be trusted these days,” Kiele said.
She said by failing to follow the court order, Poga and his colleagues were not allowing defendants to confer with their lawyers, basically not affording the full protection of the law and constitutional rights to accused persons.
Kiele wanted to know why Ling had been “abducted and hidden at places like Gerehu Lodge and Citi Lodge” and not detained at a proper institution before being brought to court.
She also queried what interest Poga had in the matter against Ling because he was the arresting officer and also taking it upon himself to prosecute the case in the committal court.
Kiele said the normal process was for the police prosecutors to prosecute, not lawyers or arresting officers. She asked what was so special about the case that Poga was taking such an active interest in Ling.