JAMES APA GUMUNO
A LANDOWNER group has won an interim court order instructing the Police Commissioner to immediately withdraw all additional personnel deployed in the Porgera gold mine special mining lease area.
A National Court in Waigani granted the order to the Porgera Landowners Association last Aug 18.
Association chairman Mark Ekepa named Police Commissioner Gari Baki as the first defendant and the State as second defendant.
The court order also requires the State to repatriate and provide accommodation, food, water and medical assistance to victims of the forced eviction from the special mining lease area.
The police are also barred from conducting further raids and forced evictions.
In addition, the police must move out of accommodation provided by Barrick (PNG) Ltd and use State quarters.
The interim order lapses on Sept 14 when Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika will hear arguments from both parties.
Meanwhile, provincial police commander Chief Supt Michael Chare said from Wabag yesterday the mobile squad 18 from Tomarage Barracks in Rabaul and mobile squad 2 from McGregor Barracks in Port Moresby were still involved in operations on the ground along with the Porgera police.
He said it would not be in the best interest of the people and the developer for the additional personnel deployed there to be withdrawn immediately.
“We will wait for instructions from the police commissioner,” he said.