Former cab driver to get K116,000

Tax payers’ money will once again be diverted to pay damages to a former Comfort taxi driver at the cost of K116, 745.30.

This happened after he lost sight to his right eye and four teeth at the hands of police.

The Waigani National Court ordered the state to pay Nathan Kandakasi damages for breach of human rights, civil wrongs committed by police, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Kandakasi was assaulted by police, arrested and detained for two days following an incident at the Vision City carpark on March 29, 2012.  

He named the two police officers primarily responsible for the assault as Andrew Kassman and Paul Komboi however, neither they nor the Royal PNG Constabulary were named parties in the proceeding. He claimed they led about six other police officers who brutally assaulted him, which resulted in him losing sight to his right eye, lost four teeth and suffered other bruising.

He was charged with resisting arrest and stealing but his case was dismissed by the District Court. He commenced a proceeding on April 7, 2015.

The state failed to defend the matter, resulting in default judgment entered on Sept 2, 2015, which the state did not apply to set aside nor appeal against it.

Seven categories of damages were assessed. General damages (K85,000), breach of human rights (K2,000), false imprisonment (K500), malicious prosecution (K9,000) and special damages (K10,000). An additional interest of K10,245.30 was also ordered, making a total of K116,745.30.

Medical reports obtained from PMGH’s chief ophthalmologist, Dr Simon Melengas, showed that he lost 100 percent vision in the right eye and 33 percent binocular vision, while Dental Clinic confirmed that he lost four teeth.

Sally Pokiton