More contempt motions filed against Baki

Another Contempt motion was filed against Police Commissioner Gari Baki at the Waigani National Court on Tuesday (May 3).

This time, it was filed by Thomas Eluh, following the recent appointments in the Police Hierarchy and especially over the position of Assistant Police Commissioner Crimes.

Eluh and his lawyers filed the motion yesterday (Tuesday) after an appointment was made for Victor Isouve to that position. Eluh was terminated from office in September last year however that was stayed by the National Court pending a judicial review which is still ongoing in court.

Jema lawyers are expected to serve notices today.

Meanwhile, the Royal PNG Constabulary Director for Legal Services Chief Superintendent Nicholas Miviri will be served with the Contempt motion filed against Commissioner Baki by Chief Inspector Matthew Damaru.

Jema Lawyers attempted to serve Commissioner Baki the motion yesterday at the National Court buildings which was refused. He instead told the officer serving the file to serve it to his lawyer Nicholas Tame.

Damaru filed the contempt motion against Commissioner Baki last Friday (April 29). It was filed in proceeding OS 219/2016, the same proceeding before the National Court that stayed Damaru’s suspension on April 18.  

The motion was filed against the actions of Commissioner Baki on April 18 when he temporarily closed the Fraud office after a stay was granted by the National Court against Damaru’s suspension.  

Damaru was served a notice of suspension from office on Saturday April 16 at his family residence at Bomana.

Commissioner Baki in a press Conference on Sunday April 17 said he suspended Damaru because he wanted to assume command and control of an erratic directorate.

He said the directorate was out of control and also suspended the immediate staff for their continuous defiance of administrative direction, which amounts to insubordination. 

Baki also suspended the officer-in-charge of fraud, Inspector Joel Simatab.

On Monday April 18, Damaru’s suspension was stayed by the Waigani National Court.

The interim orders also allowed Damaru to act in his capacity as the Director of the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate until the matter returns to court on May 9 for the full hearing.

But on the evening of April 18, Commissioner Baki announced in a media conference that he directed for a temporary closure of the fraud office.

Baki told the media that he took the stance to regain command and control of the police force.

He told the media then that the decision by the courts on the morning of April 18 to reinstate Matthew Damaru sets a bad precedence that if any officer is aggrieved by a decision that is made by any commanding officer, he or she can run to the court and stay the decision of the suspension even if the officer has committed a criminal offence.

Baki said the matter is purely administrative and should have been handled as an internal matter within the organization.

However on Tuesday (May 3) Commissioner Baki told the media in a press conference he intends to reopen the Fraud office in ‘the next three days’. This comes after the National Court asked Commissioner Baki to use his discretion and uplift the closure on the office.  



Sally Pokiton