PNG PROSECUTOR ASSAULTED BY PORT MORESBY POLICE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 30) – Papua New Guinea police officers allegedly involved in bashing up Director Of Prosecutions Thomas Eluh in Port Moresby on Wednesday face suspension.

The policemen and the civilians are to be investigated and dealt with accordingly, acting Deputy Commissioner Jim Andrews said yesterday.

Mr. Andrews said Police Commissioner Gari Baki was expected to come down hard on those allegedly involved in the beating.

In reaction to the bashing, the Police Association of PNG, while condemning the action, said there was a serious management problem within the force and there was no command and no control from the top.

The New Guinea Islands police also condemned the incident saying it clearly showed there was division in the force.

Mr Andrews said: "The action by those policemen who allegedly beat up Mr Eluh is unbecoming of members of the disciplinary force and it’s improper.’’

He said Mr Baki was making moves to suspend those policemen and officers before an investigation was conducted.

Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner Raphael Huafolo claimed what Mr Eluh had said about police beating him were mere allegations. Mr Huafolo said Mr Eluh had run into the public who bashed him up when the policemen shouted, "holim em, holim em." (Hold him, hold him).

"The police took him (Eluh) nicely to Waigani police station where the suspension notice was served on him," Mr Huafolo said.

Mr Huafolo said there was no division in the police force and all the policemen and women were working under one commissioner to fight law and order problems in the country.

Reports said about five policemen, driving one of Police Commissioner Gari Baki’s support vehicles, had stopped Mr Eluh, who was with his son, and assaulted him in Port Moresby on Wednesday.

Mr Eluh said he had been dragged out of his car and kicked and punched by his assailants.

The policemen, according to the reports, were sent by NCD commander Alfred Reu to take Mr Eluh to the Waigani station where he was to be served his suspension notice.

Mr Labi said the police management must quickly step in to solve the matter.

"All our attention is focused on the coming general election and such differences within the department must be solved now," he said.

He said the incident had already given a bad image to the police force in the country. Mr Labi said the concern now was the morale of the policemen and women in the country.

"This thing has gone too far. The management must now act quickly to have it resolved before it escalates again to the level seen recently," said Mr Labi.

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