State told to set up parole board


THE National Court in a human rights proceeding has ordered the State and to appoint the chairman and other members of the parole to process applications by prisoners.
Judge David Cannings delivered the order at the National Court in Waigani two weeks ago but was made available only this week.
The order was sought after a prisoner, Heni Elly, 48, from Baruni in Central, applied for parole on medical grounds.
He is serving a life-sentence.
The court said Elly was convicted in 2003 for manslaughter and sent to serve his sentence at Bomana Prison where he developed and suffered from chronic peptic ulcer disease and was unable to get proper medical treatment while in prison.
There was no board to determine his parole application in a timely manner and breached an order of the National Court by failing to consider the parole application.
The Commissioner of Correctional Services and the State opposed the application for early release on various grounds saying there was insufficient evidence of a breach of human rights and that the only proper authority to consider the applicant’s request for release was the parole board.
It was however unable to consider the parole application as it had been without a chairman since April 2018.
The Correctional Services considered that Elly was eligible for parole on the 10th anniversary of his sentence on May 15, 2013.
He applied for parole but for unknown reasons his application was not dealt with.
On Feb 16, 2018 Elly filed a human rights enforcement application, complaining about the delay in processing his parole and about the lack of medical treatment. On Aug 1 the court ordered the jail commander at Bomana to forward parole board all documents on Elly’s parole application.
“I ordered the chief parole officer to appear on Sept 25, 2018 to check compliance with the order so that a time could be set for the board to determine the parole application,” Cannings said.
“Since then those appearing on behalf of the respondents gave excuses that there was no chairman of the parole board and because of that Elly’s parole application could not be processed.”
Cannings said they were unsatisfactory excuses and ordered that the chairman of the parole board be appointed immediately and members so that paroles for prisoners could be processed.
Elly’s request for early release from prison was refused and referred to the parole board to discuss.
The chairman of the Public Services Commission, the secretary for the Department of Justice and Attorney-General and the president of the PNG Law Society were ordered to return to court on the 30th of this month or send a representative to explain the process they had taken to set up the parole board.

One thought on “State told to set up parole board

  • Thank you Dorothy Mark for reporting this in the paper last week Friday. The matter will return on 30th January 2019 at 9:30 am for compliance check so should you wish to report more on it you may come over to Waigani National Court. Venue Court Room One (1).

    Orbert Pungal Kewa
    Lawyer for Heni Elly from Public Solicitors Office

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