2017 Court year in review

The year of election for PNG also saw the PNG Judiciary release the 2017 Election Petition Rules in July to cater for election disputes.

These new rules replace the 2002 election petition rules in the Court of Disputed Returns.  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/judiciary-releases-new-election-petition-rules-62590

A total of 79 petitions were filed following declarations, some up to two petitions over the same seat  and the Judiciary hopes to dispose the petitions by June next year. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/11-out-79-petitions-withdrawn-69644

With the increase of cases before the courts, the PNG Judiciary also saw more appointments made to the bench this year. It now has 44 judges. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/four-judges-sworn-69943  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/more-judges-lae-70997

But manpower and facilities go hand in hand in service delivery and the judiciary this year witnessed a number of ground breaking for new facilities, particularly in Waigani, Bereina in central Province and Wewak. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/foundation-work-new-court-complex-starts-58746  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/chief-justice-visits-bereina-station-60550  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/wewak-have-new-court-complex-59659

The lower judiciary on the other hand, continues to face funding constraints in maintaining its existing facilities, as well as conduct training programs to up skill magistrates.  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/lower-judiciary-needs-funding-60002  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/%E2%80%8Bdistrict-courts-need-funding-new-home-59382

One training program that both the higher and lower judiciary did benefit from was the one on Human Rights issues. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/human-rights-training-magistrates-70078  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/judges-human-rights-workshop-70440

The training revealed that allegations of police misconduct, enforcement of human rights proceedings by prisoners and cases filed by victims of Gender based violence were high among Human rights cases. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/police-misconduct-high-human-rights-cases-70589

This year also saw a number of police officers jailed for various criminal offenses.

Among those were four police officers in Wewak who were sentenced in June to 20 years in jail each, for raping a 17 year-old during a raid in Boikin, East Sepik Province in 2013.  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/%E2%80%8Bpolice-officers-get-20-years-rape-61272

Six men who were convicted over the K6 million armed robbery in 2013 by G4S guards were sentenced to a total of 130 years in June. This was the country’s biggest armed robbery of any bank at one time. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/130-years-total-maybank-robbers-60126

Still in the month of June, Kokopo Businessman Eremas Wartoto was jailed for 10 years for misappropriating K6.4 million, renovation funds meant for the Kerevat National High School. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/10-years-jail-time-wartoto-61469

Another businessman, Justin Parker, who was charged over the murder of engineer, the late Lapan Nason on June 6, 2015 was convicted for manslaughter and given a jail term of 13 years. He has since filed an appeal. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/parker-gets-13-year-sentence-65330

A father and son who were on death row will be released from the Kerevat jail after they successfully appealed their conviction and sentence. The Supreme court found the trial judge made errors in convicting them. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/father-and-son-free-death-sentence-70987  It was not the same outcome for three others also on death row who appealed in the Supreme court. The full court confirmed the National court’s sentence against them over the cold blooded murder of eight people between the waters of Kokopo and Namatanai, 10 years ago.  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/3-kerevat-prisoners-be-hung-70969

To the Committal Courts, Richard Namaliu, the man who was charged over the death of former Miss Pacific Islands PNG, the late Ruby Ann Laufa has been committed to stand trial at the National Court. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/namaliu-committed-trial-70996

The Committal Court this year also found some evidence against Efogi man Toksy Jacob, who was allegedly involved in the armed robbery and sexual assault of tourists along the Kokoda track early last year. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/sufficient-evidence-kokoda-attack-case-55971

Both cases from the Committal court are awaiting trial in the National Court.

And finally, The Controversial arrest warrant that was issued in June 2014 by the District Court for Prime Minister Peter O’Neil’s arrest has been quashed by the Supreme court, after over three years of it being subject of various legal proceedings.

The Supreme court found the warrant defective.  http://www.looppng.com/png-news/pm%E2%80%99s-arrest-warrant-quashed-71151

Sally Pokiton
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