Members of police task force unit sentenced

Four members of the Police Task Force unit in Kokopo have been sentenced by the National Court to serve 11 and 12 years respectively for killing a man they believed cultivated marijuana back in 2015.

Acting Judge David Susame, in sentencing Joe NgotNgot, Eric John, David Haro and Jack Bemu, said a punitive sentence must be passed in an effort to remind police officers to discharge their policing duties within the confines of the law they have sworn to uphold.

Police brutality resulting in deaths is becoming quite prevalent in PNG, says Acting Judge David Susame at the Kokopo National Court today.

The members of the Kokopo Task Force Unit were involved in a raid at Warangoi on 21 July 2015, after receiving tip of that marijuana was being cultivated at Wesley Kenny’s family block.

They conducted a search without a warrant, which was illegal.

The deceased was assaulted, with force used that was quite excessive and unnecessary, especially when his hands were tied behind his back.

Kenny died from a raptured spleen as a result of the beatings he received.

Today, Jack Bemu was sentenced to 11 years in jail while the other three got 12 years.

As police officers, the likelihood of them receiving threats while in custody is likely, and the court ordered that they serve their sentence either at Bomana or Beon jail or any other prison where their safety will be guaranteed.

(Kokopo National Court filepic)

Sally Pokiton