Police warn against compensation

National

By MARJORIE FINKEO
POLICE in Jiwaka will start arresting ethnic groups who use compensation as an “escape route” for heinous crimes they commit.
Jiwaka police commander Horim Piama sounded the warning to two tribes during a reconciliation ceremony at Minj last week.
He said people who committed heinous crimes like murder, rape and sorcery-related killings were using compensation to avoid facing the justice system.
Victims in such serious cases were also partners in crime by not assisting police after receiving compensation payments.
Piama said innocent people were forced to contribute huge amounts of money for wrongs they had no knowledge of or had no role in.
He said the same perpetrators continued to commit the same crimes.
Piama strongly warned leaders and communities who gathered to witness the peace ceremony between the Konumbka and
Kondika tribes that the use of compensation to avoid justice was illegal.
“Any person or group found to be mediating peace and negotiating compensation demands between warring tribes and clans will be arrested and charged under section 309, sub-section A of the Criminal Code Act,” he
said
Piama also warned that any police officer found to be involved would be dealt with.
“Demanding compensation is a very serious criminal offence under the Criminal Code Act and carries a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding seven years,” he said.
“Police in the province are unable to enforce it because it is a norm and a way of life for people in the province.
“Getting people to understand this law and abide by it is a very difficult task.
“Leaders at all levels in the province need to work together to eradicate this bad habit of compensation, that hinders innocent people in the province from progressing in life.”

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