Now we have a vetting committee in Papua New Guinea that screens high profile police investigations before any arrests can be made.
This committee was set up after the suspension of the PNG Fraud Squad by PNG’s police commissioner Gary Baki following a series of high-profile arrests made by the fraud squad last month.
Head of fraud squad Mathew Damaru and his colleagues allegedly were accused by Police commissioner Gary Baki of procedural breaches and reminding them of the conditions for reopening the Fraud Squad operations; that all high-profile cases be presented to a vetting committee before arrests can be warranted.
A lawyer representing Papua New Guinea’s police fraud squad says conditions around vetting “high profile” investigations is suspicious. Mr Damaru’s lawyer McRonald Nale said the vetting committee condition was unconstitutional.
So how do you define the word high-profile?
It is actually discriminating against the citizens of Papua New Guinea. If the police is investigating the Prime Minister or an unemployed youth, the law should apply to everyone regardless of stature.
Frankly there is nothing in the Papua New Guinea constitution or the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary Act which specify that all police personnel must inform the Police Commissioner first before they carry out any arrest on citizens and leaders of this country.
There is nothing in the RPNGC Act or the PNG Constitution which says that court judges, Members of Parliament and lawyers are subject to arrest only under the Police Commissioner’s discretion while ordinary citizens are subject to the harsh law of being beaten up first and charged later.
Coincidently, the Police Commissioners office is politically appointed and one and can be subject to manipulation and dictation from higher powers to get the outcome needed to conceal corruption practices.
No right thinking citizen should tolerate such one sided tactics from the government leaders and politically motivated decisions, when we all are equal in status and come under one organic law regardless of ethnicity, qualification, wealth or fame.