​Numbos allowed bail over delay in evidence

The suspended Acting Inspector and Commander of the Police Special Service Division 4, Steven Numbos, has been allowed bail of K1,000 by the Waigani National Court.

Numbos and his lawyer sought bail before Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika on the wilful murder charge which was laid on him on Dec 30, 2016. This charge relates to the alleged shooting of a buai smuggler at the Erima Wildlife settlement on July 22, 2016, after a pursuit by police. 

Sir Gibbs allowed bail for the accused because he was of the view that the investigating officer took a “lengthy period” of seven months to investigate the offence and lay a charge.

He said “evidence appears to be very slow in coming in” after internal investigations commenced, adding that instead of getting information from police, the investigating officer should have also gone to the location where the offence was committed to ask locals.

He exercised his discretion and allowed bail despite State opposing the application and relying on the investigating officer’s affidavit in court that the “significant” amount of time taken was to establish a clear identification of the alleged suspects.

Numbos is also facing two charges under the firearms act at the Boroko District court on a separate set of information or allegations. His lawyers are expected to make a bail application there soon.   The charges at Boroko relate to the K1.2 million airport heist, which is expected to go on trial on Feb 8.  

The bail application moved yesterday morning was on grounds of serious security issues at Bomana, his health and the welfare of his family.  

His lawyer told the court that he is one of the most experienced commanders in the mobile squad and has contributed in apprehending some of those at Bomana.

He was confined at the CS reception during the day between 8.30am and 4.30pm following a threat incident on Jan 14.  

His lawyer described the incident as “an ambush situation” by fellow inmates where threats were made to Numbos, which was fortunately stopped when CS officers intervened, but not before being told by the inmate he was “not finished” with him.

Numbos is expected to return before the Committal court for mention on Feb 3.

Sally Pokiton