Commissioner Pokanis orders investigation into alleged assault of wilful murder suspect Bosip Kaiwi at Bomana jail
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
PRISON authorities at Bomana in Port Moresby are investigating allegations that Bosip Kaiwi, who is facing a wilful murder charge, was assaulted after his incarceration there last week, an official says.
Correctional Service Commissioner Stephen Pokanis said they wanted to find out the truth.
“Investigation by the acting commanding officer (at) Bomana is ongoing. (He) informed me that remand detainee Bosip Kaiwi’s lawyer had visited him last Thursday,” Pokanis said.
“The detainee has the right to register his complaint directly to me through the acting commanding officer at Bomana through his lawyer, or (by) a human rights application to the National Court.”
Kaiwi, 25, was remanded in custody by Magistrate Tracy Ganaii in the Committal Court in Waigani last Tuesday, for allegedly causing the death of his partner Jenelyn Kennedy, 19, the mother of their two children.
The case will return to court on July 30.
Pokanis also expressed concern yesterday over “negative media reports” against Kaiwi which could pose a risk to his life inside jail.
“My only fear is the power of the (mainstream and social) media that can generate negative emotions (among prison) officers and sway them away from their roles as correctional officers,” he said.
Pokanis said he had received reports that Kaiwi was allegedly assaulted by detainees at Bomana.
“I was informed of the alleged assault last Thursday through media calls I received, and had directed the acting commanding officer to (conduct) an investigation,” he said.
“The investigation is very important as it will determine who assaulted (Kaiwi), and what form of assault whether a slap, fist, or use of instruments against the detainee.
“This has to be determined by the investigation team.”
Pokanis said the work of correctional officers was to “contain detainees, make sure that they are safe and secure, and that they remain at the institution to complete their (convicted detainees’) sentences, and wait for the courts to decide their (detainees’) cases”.
“The CS legislation does not allow officers to assault a detainee.
“Force is only applied when there is resistance applied by detainee(s), according to CS practice under the legislation.”
He said apart from the alleged assault, the general atmosphere in prison and the behaviour of detainees “indicate maturity and respect” on each other.
“Many of them want to serve their terms and go home to their families,” he said.