K398,000 for police brutality at Hohola

Tax payers’ monies amounting to over K398,000 will be paid to six men who were subject to police brutality six years ago at Morata and at the Hohola police station.

The Waigani National Court today ordered a total of K398,168 in damages and interest to be paid to Ekip Pade, Bras Dos, Boni Kerowa, James Walua, Pora Mek and Michael Nema.

The men were subjected to police assault at Morata 2 settlement and the Hohola Police Station over four days after they were picked up in the early hours of 27 December 2011 following a raid at Morata.

The raid was conducted by police to pick up suspects implicated in the death of a fellow member of the force who had been killed while on duty several days earlier.

Pade was shot on his left leg. He was detained for four days without charge or medical treatment. He later underwent an above-knee amputation of his left leg on 6 January, 2012, due to the life threatening nature of his gunshot wound.

The five others were taken to Hohola police station, further assaulted during lock up, and denied medical treatment and food for several days before being charged for murder.

They spent four months in remand at Bomana before the murder charges against them were dismissed for want of prosecution.

They commenced human rights proceedings in court on 24 March 2015, claiming damages for breaches of human rights and negligence.

Constable Albert Nangas, the Hohola police station commander, Police Commissioner and the state were listed as respondents.

Default judgement was entered against the Police Commissioner and the state on 8 February 2016 and Justice David Cannings today ordered the state to pay damages of K355,000 and K43,168 interest.

Pade, who lost his left leg, was awarded the biggest share of that damage payment in the claim.

The court ordered for K314,048 to be paid to him. 

Sally Pokiton