By JIMMY KALEBE
A POLICE prosecutor in Lae has been sentenced to three years imprisonment by the Lae National Court for causing grievous bodily harm to two people.
Acting judge John Numapo told Jessie Kaia in no uncertain terms that police brutality was becoming too prevalent and there was a general distrust by the public of law-enforcers.
“Police officers are entrusted with the responsibility to uphold the laws of the country,” he said.
“If they break these laws, they must be punished appropriately.” Kaia, of Longo village in Imbonggu, Southern Highlands, was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to two people while under the influence of alcohol.
On May 25 last year, Kaia got into an argument with the two at Andersons Foodland at Eriku.
The argument started after Kaia spit inside the shop and people pointed out to him that what he did was wrong.
Kaia sought assistance from his colleagues.
Two people were picked up, put into a police vehicle and severely beaten.
The report stated that when at the police station, the two people were beaten up with an iron rod and a spade handle.
This led to one having mild deformity on his left hand while the other suffered a broken nose as confirmed by the medical reports.
Numapo found that no formal charges were laid or the men questioned.
He said there was no reason for police to take them to the station and subject them to such ill-treatment.
“It appears to me the victims were assaulted for no apparent reason,” Numapo said.
“This is a typical example of police brutality without any justifiable reasons.
“People go to police to be protected and not to be abused and assaulted.
“This has to stop.
“It sends a wrong signal to the public.
“The courts will not tolerate such behaviour and will impose a deterrent sentence to demonstrate community’s disapproval of this.”
Numapo ordered that upon full payment of K5000 compensation within the next 30 days, starting last Wednesday, to the victims, 18 months would be deducted.
By JIMMY KALEBE