Bail refused for sexual assault convict

A man who is serving a prison term of 15 years for sexually assaulting a girl who was a minor in 2013 has been refused bail on medical grounds by the Supreme Court.

Paul Pisa was convicted by the Waigani National court on 16 March 2017. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison on 20 April 2017.

The victim in the case, was 15 years at the time of the incident and bore a child on June 22, 2014 as a result.  She was sexually assaulted between Sept 1 and Sept 18, 2013.

He is known to the victim’s family. They are both from the same clan and village.

Pisa filed an appeal in the Supreme Court on 23 May 2017 against his conviction. Pending the appeal, he asked the court earlier this week for bail on medical grounds.

He claimed to have developed a number of medical conditions whist serving his term at Bomana.

They include a growth in his right eye which had to be surgically removed after assessment at the Port Moresby General Hospital. He also suffers from chronic asthma attacks and a swollen testicle.

Justice Oagile Bethuel Key Dinake heard the application and refused to grant bail as the court saw Pisa did not establish a case of exceptional circumstances to justify the granting of bail to him, pending the appeal.

Pisa was one of those high profile prisoners who was sentenced to jail but was found to be serving his sentence at hospitals in the city.

He was granted a leave of absence (LOA) from Bomana jail, in order to receive medical treatment at the Pacific International hospital, instead of serving the sentence Bomana.

That leave of absence lasted seven months till he was arrested by police.

Following the Post Courier’s front page story on January 3 of him, it prompted cabinet to ban all leave of absence for prisoners and probe the issue.

Pisa and a number of high profile prisoners were taken back to Bomana.

Since his return to Bomana prison on 10 January, he sought bail from the Supreme Court on medical grounds.

In the bail application, Bomana Jail Commander Haraha Kiddy Keko’s affidavit stated that Pisa has not made any formal request to be taken to the Port Moresby General Hospital for further medical assessment since December 2017.

However he did not put to the court that his doctors had been denied permission from seeing him or he has been prevented from accessing the hospital to obtain treatment.

In terms of the Correctional service Act, Justice Dinake said the welfare of the detainee (Pisa) is a matter for the Correctional Institutional and the prison commander.

“The detainee is at liberty to vindicate his rights in court, if any of his rights are violated. In my mind bail is clearly not the correct vehicle to vindicate any such rights, in the event they are violated,” he added.

With the bail application not having merit and dismissed, it is understood Pisa will be instigating a Human Rights proceeding on medical grounds.

He remains at Bomana. 

Sally Pokiton
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