​Lack of consultation affects court cases

A legislation that was recently passed is the National Information and Communication Technology (NICTA) Act.

Committal Courts in Waigani have seen a huge increase in the number of cases brought before the courts from offences like posting offensive, insulting and defamatory remarks on Facebook to sending offensive text messages.

Some of these cases get withdrawn while others get struck out.

FB defamatory remarks case dismissed

This case involves a 26-year-old woman who allegedly posted defamatory remarks on social media, Facebook page ‘Jimi Politics Open forum’, against the sitting member.

Margret Opo of Karap village, Jimi district, Jiwaka Province, first appeared in court on November 1, 2016, where her charge was read and explained to her.

Three months on, police prosecution received no instructions from the investigating officers on the progress of the case, which prompted them to move an application to strike the matter out, which was allowed by the court.

Sios in court for improper use of ICT services

52-year-old Janet Roland Sios, of Kabanut village, Namatanai district, New Ireland Province went before Magistrate Mekeo Gauli this morning with her lawyer, where her charges were read and explained to her in court.

Magistrate Gauli after reading the charge adjourned her case to Tuesday, Nov 29. Police will now have three months to investigate and produce its investigation files against Sios, or what is called a hand-up brief.

This has been the practice of the Committal Court process and before the court can decide if it has enough evidence against Sios.

NICTA Act prosecution need to be clear

Whilst there has been an increasing number of cases listed before the Waigani Committal Court on the improper use of ICT services, who is responsible for the prosecution of those cases is yet to be finalised.

This will have to be finalised between the office of the Public Prosecutor, the Police Prosecution office and the National Information & Communications Technology Authority.

The NICTA act includes the abuse of ICT services to insult or cause annoyance to another person.