PNG Police Officers Charged With Murder Of Murder Suspect

Indiscriminate use of semi-automatic rifles during apprehension, may have fired point blank on apprehended suspect

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 05, 2016) – An officer in charge and three members of his unit along with his police woman wife have been charged wtih the murder of a murder suspect.

In January of 2015, Harold Farapo’s body was found on the causeway between Baruni and Tatana village in Port Moresby’s Northwest and Sergeant Phillip Pokop attached with the armed robbery response unit was tasked with assisting the investigations.

One week later, a Salle Naime Tom was shot at Tatana while trying to swim away from the investigating officers who had raided the village looking for Farapo’s killers.

Last month, Sgt Pokop, his wife Chief Inspector Maria Jones of Central Province police and three members of his unit constables Lawrence Sausau, Ian Gunawi and Jeffery Sheekiot were charged with Mr Tom’s willful murder.

Const Sheekiot, 33, of Samusamu village in Bogia of Madang Province made his first appearance before the Committal Court at Waigani yesterday where he was charged.

The allegations against the five cops were that they were among a group of policemen that were at Tatana on January 17 last year and tried to talk to Mr Tom, who ran.

It was alleged that constables Sausau and Sheekiot ran after him while firing their semi-automatic rifles indiscriminately.

Mr Tom jumped into the sea and it was alleged that the two constables and others continued shooting.

About 50m from the shoreline, the suspect stopped swimming and started calling for help after being shot.

It was alleged that Sgt Pokop and constables Sausau, Gunawi and Sheekiot borrowed a dinghy and paddled to the suspect.

It was alleged that when they reached him, another gunshot was heard.

The beach was cleared by policemen of villagers when the dinghy arrived and it was further alleged that Chief Insp Maria Jones used an object which she was holding to hit Mr Tom on his face and head before transporting him to Port Moresby General Hospital were Mr Tom was pronounced dead on arrival.

PNG Post-Courier
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