Another police officer to stand trial

Another police officer has been committed by the Waigani Committal Court to stand trial in the National Court over her alleged involvement in the Tatana shooting in early 2015.

Magistrate Cosmas Bidar today ruled there was sufficient to commit the case against Chief inspector Maria Jones for trial in the National Court.

On January 17, 2017, Jones in the company of other police officers conducted a raid at Tatana village for a suspect, Saleh Naime Tom, also known as Charlie Naime whom they believed was involved in the death of another man earlier.

The 40-year-old woman from Kubalia, Yangoru-Saussia district, East Sepik Province was arrested and charged with wilful murder on Monday April 4, 2016.

The court found that despite no evidence of her using a gun to fire shots on the deceased, Charlie Saleh Naime Tom, during a raid on January 17, 2015 at Tatana village, she did nothing to stop others in her company from doing so.

Inspector Jones is from the Central Police Command, and the Magistrate Bidar said there was no evidence of orders coming from the Central Command for a joint raid operation with the Boroko CID squad that day.

He said they shot the deceased as he was swimming, trying to escape from the Cops. Medical evidence before the court said he died from injuries to his vital organs by bullet wounds.

While the district court has done its process of screening the evidence, as per the District Court Act,  it is now up to the Public Prosecutor to asses it and amend the charge against Jones if need be.

She is expected to appear on listing in the National Court on May 8.

Three other police officers have also been arrested and charged for the same offense. Their cases have also been committed for trial in the National Court.

Jones remains on an extended National Court bail.

(Loop PNG file picture of Tatana village)

Sally Pokiton