Lae police officers arrested, charged

Five police officers under the Lae metropolitan command have been arrested and charged for the death of a man from Simbu Province.

The deceased’s body was found floating at a lake in Lae, commonly known as Raun Wara, on January 22, by passersby.

Lae metropolitan superintendent, Commander Anthony Wagambie Jnr, said it was alleged that the deceased was with two other men when they were assaulted by these police officers, who were reportedly using a hired vehicle and were under the influence of alcohol.

Relatives and eyewitnesses had claimed the deceased and his friends were at Kapiak Street between 7pm-8pm on Saturday when they were picked up by the police in a brown ten-seater with registration plate: LBQ 611.

They claimed that police beat the trio up and told two of them to swim across the Raun Wara on Saturday night, resulting in the death of the man, whose body was found on Monday.

The Lae Met Sup had met up with the relatives and assured them that justice would prevail.

This led to the suspension, investigation and now formal arrests of these five policemen.

The personnel have been charged with three counts each of deprivation of liberty and one count each of manslaughter. 

They were formally arrested and charged last Friday and detained in the Police cells for appearance in the District Court. 

Wagambie Jnr says whilst police have a difficult job to do, professional conduct must always be maintained.

“No one is above the law,” Wagambie Jnr said.

“The matter has been investigated and charges laid. It is now up to the five members to prove their innocence.

“I appeal to the community at Kapiak Street settlement area to remain calm and allow the court process to progress.”

Imelda Wavik