Category Archives: Criminal

Death Row Inmates Denied Full Protection Of The Law

Source: Post-Courier

 

 

The Court, presided over by Justice David Cannings, in a 53 page judgment and report of the Inquiry, concluded that all prisoners sentenced to death in PNG are being denied the full protection of the law, contrary to the Constitution of the country.

 
And he has ordered a stay of any execution of prisoners who have been sentenced to death until their rights under the constitution are fully complied with.

 
The Court which commenced the proceedings on its own initiative, styled as an inquiry into human rights of prisoners sentenced to death, was to, identify which prisoners have been sentenced to death, identify what human rights they have and whether those rights are being afforded to them and examine the role of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy.

 

 
Five respondents, who are senior office-holders in the criminal justice system, assisted the Court in its inquiry, they were the Principal Legal Adviser and Attorney-General, the Public Solicitor, the Public Prosecutor, the Commissioner of the Correctional Service and the Registrar of the National Court and Supreme Court.

 
Justice Cannings in his judgment discussed 10 questions which included the Courts jurisdiction to conduct the inquiry, the procedures used, What offences attract the death penalty? What is the method of execution of a person sentenced to death? Who has been sentenced to death? What human rights do prisoners sentenced to death have? What is the role of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy? What is the present status of those on death row? Are the human rights of prisoners sentenced to death being afforded to them? and what declarations or orders should the court make?

 
The most serious concern raised in the judgment by Justice Cannings is the absence of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy which the court found to have become defunct and accordingly made a declaration to that effect. “There has been a failure over an extended period on the part of the National Government, in particular the National Executive Council, to comply with the duty to facilitate appointments of members of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy and to provide it with staff and facilities. The Committee has become defunct. This leaves all prisoners on death row with no effective opportunity to invoke their right to the full protection of the law by applying for the exercise of the power of mercy.”

 
“This has created a gap in the criminal justice system. It involves a breach of the Constitution and an infringement of human rights which must be remedied as a matter of priority.”

 
Other matters of concern raised are the apparent failure of the Correctional Service to ensure that prisoners sentenced to death are given special care and treatment in accordance with Section 105 of the Correctional Service Regulation and the lengthy delays in implementation of the death penalty.

 
The court ordered that the National Executive Council shall, by January 1, 2018, facilitate appointments of members of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy and ensure that all arrangements are made, staff and facilities are provided and steps are taken to enable and facilitate, as far as may reasonably be, the proper and convenient performance of its functions and that there shall be no execution of any prisoner who has been sentenced to death, irrespective of whether his appeal and review rights have been exhausted.

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Announcements On SABL To Be Made This Week

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

A major announcement will be made this week on special agricultural and business lease (SABL), says Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.

 

These leases have been the subject of much debate both within and abroad in addressing the issues of illegally acquired land leases under the guise of the lease arrangement.

 

Mr Tkatchenko said since his appointment to the ministry, he has ensured that a high-level committee dealt with all the leases.

 

“As you know, we have set up the committee to go through every SABL file and the decision from the commission of inquiry.”

 

“With that, I will be making some very strong and firm and positive decisions on the leases that have already been investigated by the committee,” he said.

 

“There are some serious matters from these SABLs that have come up and the country will be very happy because we have had enough.”

 

He said there has been stealing of public, customary, and other land, where no consultations had ever been done, but his ministry would get to the bottom of the issues before the New Year.

 

“To all the customary landowners, the ILGs, bear with me. We are going to make sure that before the end of this year that most of these issues are resolved.”

 

Tkatchenko assured the landowners that the committee in place is a serious one that sits every week to deliberate.

 

“The committee is not just a giaman (fake) committee set up just to make us look good. They have to work and get outcomes that pleases the situation at hand.”

 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in November last year Cabinet’s decision to revoke all SABL titles.

 

Despite the decision, concerns were raised on the slow response of the department responsible in carrying out the revocation process.

Ban On Issuing Firearm Licenses

 

 

BY MICHAEL ARNOLD via Post-Courier

In light of an unprecedented increase in gun- related violence and killings reported in recent months, Police Minister Jelta Wong has declared a ban on the issuance of new firearm licences.

Mr Wong made this declaration yesterday by virtue of the powers conferred under Section 5A (1) of the Firearms Act Chapter 310, and all other enabling powers bestowed on him under the Constitution.

In compliance with this government directive, Police Commissioner Gari Baki, who is also the registrar of firearms, will not entertain new applications for the purchase and issuance of new gun licences.

Mr Wong said the ban, which was instituted yesterday, October 4, will remain in effect for an indefinite period. He said the government is taking this measure because of the increasing number of gun-related violence and killings reported in certain parts of the country in recent times.

The death toll now includes the two police officers killed in Wabag, Enga Province, at the height of the recently concluded 2017 National Election in July, and two in Southern Highlands Province last weekend.

However, according to Mr Wong, the PNG’s disciplinary forces, which include the PNG Defence Force, Police and Correctional Services, are exempted from this ban. A similar moratorium on firearms was issued by the Government in 2000.

ICAC Draft Bill Open For Public Discussion

September 26, 2017

 

BY NELLIE SETEPANO of Post – Courier

THE Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) draft bill is open to more public discussion and that is what the government wants.

The public is encouraged to make comments on this important legislation, says Constitutional Law Reform Commission chairman, Dr Eric Kwa.

Dr Kwa also said there is no time frame when the bill gets to the parliament.

He was speaking at a radio talkback show with TIPNG chairman, Lawrence Stephens, last week.

Both shared general views on the draft bill and are encouraged that the government has decided to ask the people for their comments, especially on the appointment of commissioners and the clarity of arresting and prosecution powers as certified in the amended bill.

Dr Kwa said the commission will still have some powers to arrest but will give the first call to those mandated by the Constitution to perform functions of arrests.

He said the bill will not be rushed, and that there are suggestions the Prime Minister was running the show which was not correct.

He reiterated that it is not a one-man decision.

Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Davis Steven, spoke on proposed law at a forum at the University of PNG recently, saying the consultation with civil society and broad community demonstrated the government’s intention to be open about this important legislation.

Regarding consultation, Mr Steven encouraged the involvement of higher learning institutions in discussing the draft bill apart from the general public and it is a must for the legislation to be more simplified for common people to learn and understand it.

Also copies in draft form are available at the Department of Justice.

Challenging The Next Generation Of Lawyers

 

Source: Post-Courier

 

 

Seventy-three lawyers at the Papua New Guinea Legal Training Institute (LTI) now have the skills to pursue careers in commercial practice after undergoing a week’s training in Commercial Advocacy. 

Now in its fifth year, the Commercial Advocacy course, which is the brainchild of Papua New Guinea’s Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, is delivered by a team of barristers from Queensland led by The Honourable, Justice John Logan RFD, of the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea as part of the Papua New Guinea-Australia partnership.

 

The course is designed to strengthen legal and advocacy skills including applying to the court for injunctions, drafting letters of advice and pleadings, responding to discovery applications and preparing for trials.

 

Part of the course also includes training on the Papua New Guinea criminal law (the Papua New Guinea Criminal Code is based on the Queensland Criminal Code).

 

Over five days, the students were introduced to the fundamentals of commercial litigation before testing their advocacy skills in mock court exercises.

 

The need for this training was driven by the increasing volume and complexity of commercial cases being conducted in Papua New Guinea, many of which are conducted by expatriate lawyers.

 

Speaking at the close of the LTI’s Commercial Advocacy Course recently, the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Hon. Davis Steven, challenged trainees to make a difference and thanked the Australian Government for sharing Papua New Guinea’s vision of a thriving legal profession in a democratic and prosperous nation.

 

Australian High Commission Counsellor Gina Wilson, congratulated students on completing the course.

 

“The Papua New Guinea-Australia supports the LTI.  Commercial law is not just an exciting career path; it plays a vital role in encouraging economic investment and development,” she said.

 

Almost 500 students have completed the course since 2013.

PNG Uncovered People Smuggling crimes

Loop PNG Author 

This was the statement by Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, while speaking at the Bali Process Government and Business Forum in Perth, Australia, last week.

He said PNG has committed to advancing measures to stop human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the APEC Region.

“We are continuing to step up border control protection measures that will detect further illegal activities.

“Be it modern-day slavery in the fisheries sector, or the exploration of people in the sex trade, and other instances of forced labour, Papua New Guinea takes this issue very seriously.”

Accompanied by Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, Pato said action that will save lives must be stepped up.

“Human trafficking is a scourge, a blight on humanity, and an anathema to the free world,” he told the audience of Ministers and business leaders from 45 countries.

“From the poorest to the most developed countries, right now, people are being trafficked and their rights denied.

“We all have a role to play, regardless of the size or power of our country or Government.”

Pato said Government cannot tackle the problem of human trafficking on its own, but must work with the private sector; and the upcoming APEC Transport Ministerial Meeting in Port Moresby will advance this agenda.

“We have to work with the transportation industry to interrupt supply chains and networks in this awful trade in human misery.

“In October this year, Papua New Guinea will host the 10th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting.

“APEC has been proactive in encouraging collaboration, through the APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group, to combat the problem of human trafficking in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Considering transportation networks are exploited by traffickers, I expect our engagement through APEC will make an important contribution to dealing with this problem.

“I will convey the outcomes of this Bali Process forum to Papua New Guinea’s Transport Minister, to be presented at the 10th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting in Port Moresby.”

Pato said there is no place for human trafficking and smuggling in the modern world, and Papua New Guinea will take the strongest stand to detect, apprehend and prosecute the criminals involved in this vile practice.

“I commend the work of the Bali Process, and the shared desire we all have to protect human liberty and to save lives.”

 

 

(Participants at the Bali Process Government and Business Forum that was hosted in Perth, Australia – Picture: Global New Light Of Myanmar)

http://www.looppng.com/png-news/png-uncovered-people-smuggling-crimes-pato-65576

Former Inmates, Drug Addicts get Help for a New Start

Former marijuana addicts and former prison inmates in a village outside Mt Hagen city were recently given some assistance to start a new life.

The Kelua Drug and Crime Stoppers Association gave 26 of its members K1000 worth of materials each to help each one start a small business. Two received K2000 worth of trade store goods, nine were presented seedlings, fertilizers, pesticides and gardening tools worth K9000 and 15 received one box of chicks and seven bags of stock feed bags each to start poultry projects.
Association chairman Paul Kilt thanked local MP and Minister for State and Public Enterprises William Duma for giving K50,000 to the association early this year.
Kilt said that the association was formed nine years ago with the support of non-government organisations like the Melanesian Solidarity and the Catholic Church to minimise law and order issues in the area.

He said Kelua was known as “Sin City”.

Kilt said this had changed during the nine years when many, involved in criminal activities had quit their bad ways and were rehabilitated.

He said the association’s activities had helped cut down on criminal activities and smoking of marijuana, and restored peace and harmony in the community.

“We are now supporting the reformed drug addicts and criminals with K26,000 worth of materials.”

He said that after six months the youths will repay K500 to the association to help other members .

Those who repay K500 by March next year would be eligible for bigger funding to expand their projects or business activities but those who failed to repay would not be considered for future assistance, Kilt said.

The patron of the association, Robert Mek, said he was satisfied with the work of association so far.

He said the once no-go zone for outsiders was now becoming a peaceful place.

The National Newspaper August 23, 2017

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