Second officer charged

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday 4th June 2013

 ANOTHER policeman was arrested on Sunday and charged with unlawfully wounding a number of citizens following a clash at the 8-Mile settlement outside Port Moresby last week.

This brings to two the number of policemen arrested over the incident which included the wounding of 74 men.

More are expected to be arrested as investigations continue.

The two policemen charged are Probationary Constable Hillary Weni, aged 25 from Tauwete village in Lumi, West Sepik, who was attached to the Waigani police station and probationary Const Steven Siskii from Buliso village in Lorengau, Manus, who was attached to the Hohola police station.

Both policemen were arrested, charged and locked up at the Boroko police station cells and are expected appear in court for mention today.

Administrative disciplinary actions will also be taken.

Their arrest follows wide media coverage of the incident which occurred on May 28 at 7-Mile in Port Moresby. 

According to police reports, the incident allegedly occurred when police units intercepted more than 70 armed men travelling by foot to 6-Mile from 8-Mile after a peace mediation over a murder case.

It is alleged that policemen 

at the scene ordered the men to lie face down on the ground with their hands above 

their heads, removed their weapons such as bush knives, bows and arrows and then began assaulting them.

Following Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga’s directive, the following actions were reported as well in other police brutality allegations:

  • In the fan belting of a female in Port Moresby, a Senior Constable Martin Hanawi, aged 45 of Yaguabi village in Koroba, Hela, was suspended and charged with assault;
  • In the baseball bat bashing of a street vendor in Port Moresby, investigations are continuing. Once statements have been collected and policemen identified they will be charged criminally and disciplinary action will also be taken against them;
  • In the fatal shooting of the child and wounding of the mother, police internal investigation into the matter and ballistic test taken from the pellets lodged in the mother reveal that they came from a police issued firearm used by Boroko police. Statements have been obtained and policemen identified will face criminal charges for murder and attempted murder;
  • In the Kimbe shooting of a male on May 18, upon further investigation one first constable Gabriel Giru was formally arrested and charged on two counts of armed robbery and attempted murder. Giru was to have appeared in court last week;
  • Investigations are continuing into the allegations of policemen at the Gerehu police station who allegedly forced two men to strip naked and carry out indecent acts.
  • Police investigations into the killing and injuring of two students during the Lae high school fights reveal that the wounds from both injuries sustained by both students were caused by a long and sharp instrument and not from bullets. Investigations are continuing.

Kulunga said: “I will not hesitate to take swift and firm action against undisciplined and abusive policemen. They have no place in the constabulary under my watch. Likewise, the efforts of good honest, hardworking, caring and committed policemen will be rewarded.”

Meanwhile, NCD/Central Divisional Police Commander Jim Andrew said investigations were continuing on 8-Mile case and other officers implicated would be arrested and dealt with.