Baki's application dismissed

An application by the Police Commissioner, asking the court to judicially review two NEC decisions which led to the establishment of the (now abolished) Investigation Task Force Sweep (ITFS) team, has been refused and dismissed.

The Waigani National Court made a ruling on the case today after Royal PNG Constabulary in-house lawyer, Stanley Poga, asked the court on July 18 to judicially review the decisions dated 11 August 2011 and 27 January 2012.

Justice Leka Nablu refused to allow the two decisions to be judicially reviewed because of the long delay in Gari Baki bringing the case to court.

Cases of Judicial review must be filed within four months of the aggrieved decision.

In this case, it has been 5 years and 11 months since the first NEC decision that established the office of ITFS (11 August 2011) and the second NEC decision (27 January 2012) which made the office establishment permanent.

These NEC decisions led to the establishment and appointment of the Task Force Sweep team to carry out criminal investigations, lay charges and prosecute offences independently without being accountable to the office of the Police Commissioner.

Justice Nablu said there was delay for the case in Baki asking the court to review the NEC decision.

The court was not persuaded in the explanation of the delay by Poga.

He had earlier submitted in court that the delay should be from when Commissioner Baki took office and not from date of the NEC decision.

Justice Nablu ruled that Baki does not have sufficient interest in the case when refusing to allow the two NEC decisions to be judicially reviewed.

The investigation body was set up in 2011 and made permanent in 2013 to investigate complaints made against the Department of National Planning.

Commissioner Baki filed the case against Sam Koim as chairman of ITFS (now abolished), Chief Inspector Timothy Gitua, Sergeant Aaron Eliza, Sergeant Pius Peng, Senior Constable Basi Sopata comprising the ITFS team, the NEC and the State.

Substantively, Commissioner Baki was seeking declaratory orders that the direction of ITFS to investigate was illegal and unconstitutional from the beginning. They are also asking for court to quash the NEC decision from 2011.

(Loop PNG file picture of Sam Koim, as chairman of the [now abolished] Investigation Task Force Sweep team and members of his team)

Sally Pokiton