By JULIA DAIA BORE
POLICE investigators and State prosecutors must stop their “poor and shoddy” performance in court.
“They must be responsible for the administration of justice in this country, ensure effectiveness and accountability when laying out charges,” National Court judge Justice Elenas Batari said in Vanimo, Sandaun province, last Tuesday.
While throwing out arson charges against two men, Johnny Daniel Saun and Wilson Fihau, Justice Batari said: “This is a case of poor and shoddy investigation.”
Saun and Fihau were charged with setting fire to the office of Vanimo Forest Product Company on the evening of Aug 20, 2006, in Vanimo town.
Justice Batari said: “There was a direct insult to good administration of justice and in particular to the victim who possibly lost millions of kina in the fire.
The judge highlighted: “On the evening before the fire, one of the accused was heard to be demanding a public relations position from a logging company for a dirty game he would be playing for the company and shortly before the fire, the same accused was said to be hurrying away because he had an urgent job to do.
“From this evidence, a hint of an aggrieved landowner Timber Company planned on carrying out some dirty or heavy-handed tactic, not to mention a criminal act was clearly apparent on the conduct of the accused.
“As to what the dirty game was or what the urgency of the job was, against whom and how it was connected to the arson is anybody’s guess.
“Further, was that hostility a possible motive for arson?
“It must however, be placed on record that, aside from the timings of those statements and the conduct of the accused, there is absolutely no evidence of linkage between the conduct of the accused, what he allegedly said and the fire.”
Justice Batari ordered the bail of K5,000 each be returned to both of the accused.