Police failure sees murder case struck out

Police investigating officers’ inefficiency in producing files on time at the Committal Court has resulted in the dismissal of another public interest case.

This unnecessary delay resulted in the murder case of Port Moresby student Jeremiah Yinu struck out after the arresting officer, who was investigating the case, failed to produce those files in court today.

The matter was adjourned, for the last time, in March 2 to give time to the investigating officer to produce those findings before the court. However, that was not done.

Instead, the officer requested through police prosecution team to have the matter adjourned, yet again, to give him time to compile the completed investigation findings.

This was refused by Magistrate John Kaumi as more than enough time was allowed by the court for investigators to perform.

“In this instance, the court has bent over backwards to accommodate the police and state interest because it was a matter of public interest,” Magistrate Kaumi said.

“It was incumbent for the police to give it their utmost attention and in my view, that has not happened.

“The inefficiency of police cannot be allowed to be used as an excuse to unnecessarily delay the finality of the matter and impinge on the constitutional rights of the defendants.

“As much as the matter is of public importance, the rights of the defendants will need to be upheld,” he added.

He said the state of Papua New Guinea (being police investigators) has limitless resources at its disposal in comparison to the rights of the six defendants.

He described this matter as a double-edged sword for both the state and the defendants simply because state was given enough time to investigate and produce files in court, which they failed to do so.

All six defendants; Jude Nidung, Kenneth Yangun, David Travolta, Gregory Tuaki, Alwin Matiabe and Tobias Samson will have their respective bail monies refunded.

It was alleged the soldiers were involved in a fight with students on July 25, 2015, that resulted in a Grade 11 Salvation Army student, Jeremiah Yinu, being hospitalised after receiving life-threatening injuries.

Yinu lost his life in October last year. This saw the charge of attempted murder upgraded to murder, which was struck out today.

Outside the court house, family members of the late Yinu walked away disappointed with the failure of police.

Sally Pokiton