FORMER NIO BOSS JAILED

THE former boss of the National Intelligence Organisation (NIO), met his fate today, when the Waigani National Court sentenced him to three years in prison for misappropriating over K90,000.

The former Acting Director-General of NIO, Maika Bruno, is among a number of public servants who were convicted for the offence of misappropriation alone.

Mr Bruno was found guilty on two counts for misappropriating a K55,000 and a further K36,000 in 2013. The funds belonged to the NIO.

Vector illustration of a man lock up in prison

 

Although the court found that Mr Bruno was a career public servant of over 25 years with no prior convictions, his abuse of position of trust and lack of remorse for his actions landed him in hot water.

The court presided by Justice David Cannings initially issued a 8 year sentence but reduced it down to 3 years after considering Mr Bruno’s age and worsening health condition.

Bruno is 54 years of age and hails from Namatani in the New Ireland province.

MT HAGEN CITY DETERIORATES

MT HAGEN, dubbed as the third city of PNG has deteriorated with huge crater like potholes in the city roads and uncontrolled littering.

There is literally no sign of any provincial authority on the ground to control and fix the worsening look of the city.
Crime rates have also accelerated and residents are in fear of moving around due to no police presence.

hagen-pothole
The deteriorating roads in Mt Hagen City. 

A public servant and long time resident of Mt Hagen, Jack Pobia, said the current stage of the city is totally an eye sore for visitors and the travelling public.

“Mt Hagen is the centre of all the seven highlands provinces and used to be a very safe and conducive place to live back then but has fast become deteriorated with accelerating lawlessness,” Mr Pobia said.

He said one of the main reason is due to the failed LLG election that was declared in the Mt Hagen Urban Rural LLG in 2012.

“The Mt Hagen Urban LLG was the authority that looks after and maintains the affairs of the city but due to the failed LLG election declared by the Electoral Commission in 2012, there is no authority to manage the affairs of the city,” Mr Pobia added.

He also blamed the political leaders of the province for too much political infighting among themselves and failing to address the deteriorating state of the city.

PNG Prisons in dire straits

PNG is likely to experience alot of prison breakouts in the near future if the management of the Correctional Institute Services  (CIS) and the government fail to adequately run the facilities. 

The recent mess breakout at the Bumio prison in Lae, Morobe Province, and the current situation of prisoners detained without food for almost a week at the Baisu prison in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province paints a bad image on prison operations throughout the country. 

Juvenile detainees at Baisu prison.

Baisu prison commander Timbi Kaugla spoke to News-Link PNG today highlighting challanges faced on daily operations of prison facilities and the lack of support from the CIS management over the years. 

Basing his concerns on shortage of food ration at the Baisu prison, Mr Kaugla said the CIS management failed to pay the company contracted to provide food supplies to the prison and therefore the company ceased supplying food since Friday, February 17. 

“We managed to provide food supply using our limited prison funds but fell short since Monday up until now.”

He addmited that the prisoners totaling more than 170 were detained without food since Monday.

“We begged the supplier to at least supply some food rations due to the situation we were facing but the supplier refused,” Mr Kaugla added.

Whisky Fresh Limited, the company contacted to supply food to the prison maintained that it won’t supply food until it’s dues are paid.

Managing Director of Whisky Fresh Ltd, Berry Maip, said he could no longer supply food ration to the prison because the CIS owned his company over K1 million.

“I have exhausted my own funds to supply food for the prison without being paid for almost three months now.”

“I cannot go on supplying food because I don’t have adequate funds to continue,”Mr Maip said.

He said the CIS owned him alot and it was their (CIS management) failure which had resulted in the current situation.

He called on the CIS management to address the situation promptly and pay up his dues for him to restore food supply to the prison.

Father wants justice for his daughter’s death

“My daughter, Ruby-Anne Laufa, died in a very violent and suspicious circumstance. I, my families and Ruby-Anne’s friends demand justice for her.  It is the duty of the police to assist in our demand for justice.”

Those are the words of the father of former Miss PNG, Late Ruby-Anne Laufa, who tragically died on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

maurice-andrew-laufa-2
Late Ruby-Anne Laufa (right) and her dad Maurice A Laufa

The actual cause of her death has not been established as yet but police claim she died after jumping out of a moving vehicle allegedly driven by her boyfriend.

However, her father Maurice Andrew Laufa, who is a senior Lawyer and a Lecturer at the School of Law at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) raised concern that the cause of his daughter’s death was yet to be establish.

He blamed the police for failing to investigate the matter promptly to uncover the actual cause of his daughter’s death.

late-ruby-anne
Late Ruby-Anne Laufa

“I express serious concern about the questionable and apparent lack of urgency in police investigation into the tragic death of my daughter,” Mr Laufa said.

He said on the afternoon of Saturday, February 11, the suspect was detained at 4 mile traffic police station for about 4 hours and then released without any charge.

The police then recorded the cause of death as ‘suicide’ in the police occurrence book.

This did not go the well with Mr Laufa, who expressed dismay over the manner in which police was handing the matter.

“To date, 10 days after the tragic death of my daughter, the police have not spoken to any of the witnesses who volunteered their names and details, nor invited them to go to the police station to provide statements.”

“They never contacted me or my other daughter to provide statements concerning the circumstances leading up to the tragic death of my daughter Ruby-Anne.”

“The police have my contact details and know where I reside (UPNG Waigani Campus) but rather have submitted to reaction in their investigation,” a concerned Mr Laufa said in a press-statement.

“I believe that initial information available to police suggest that the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of my daugther is highly suspicious which should prompt any experienced and competent police officer to take proactive steps to conduct further enquiries and investigations into her death. In this case they have elected to wait,” Mr Laufa further stated.

He said as a senior lawyer, he always believed, trusted and confided in the integrity, fairness, honesty and competence of the nation’s criminal justice system – including police criminal investigations.

However, he said his belief, trust and confidence in the criminal justice system – specifically police criminal investigations, was tested in the 10 days since the passing of her beloved daughter.

MP assault young lawyer

A young lawyer has alleged that he was physcally  assaulted by a member of Parliament. 

Lawyer Laken Lepatu claimed that he was confronted and punched on the face by Wabag Open MP Robert Ganim at a bus stop near Wabag Town on Thursday, February 16.

Lawyer Laken Lepatu

Wabag MP Robert Ganim

Lepatu claimed in his social media post that he was carrying out awareness on election in the Highlands to educate the people when he was assaulted by the particular MP. 

“MP for Wabag Open Mr. Robert Ganim punched me and I threw him into Wabag Police Cells but the police station commander released him,” Lapatu said in his post.

“I parked my vehicle at Wabag Town (Porgera Bus-Stop) & MP Ganim parked his vehicle opposite me. 

“Mr Ganim shouted at me and asked me why I was conducting awareness campaign which I politely replied to him that if he thinks I breached a law(s), we should sort it out at the Police Station,” Lepatu stated.

He said the MP  without paying attention, shouted the same words twice, stepped out of his vehicle & ran towards him. 

Lepatu further claimed that three of the MP’s boys armed with bush knives followed the MP and confronted him face to face with swearing words and the MP punched him on the face. 

“His boys almost murdered me but the public stopped them. 

“Ganim and his boys then got into their vehicle fled,” Lepatu stated.

He further stated that he drove to the police station and placed a formal complaint against the MP for police to arrest the MP.

 “When I stepped out of the police station, I saw Mr. Ganim parked his vehicle and stepped out.

“I quickly grabbed his hand and dragged him into the police cells and ordered the police officers there to arrest him but the police station commander refused and released the MP,” Lepatu stated.

Lepatu who recently assisted students with free legal assistance and won several cases stammed from the UPNG student and police standoff last year said he will pursue the matter  until justice is done.

“I will continue my awareness campaign until I complete Enga. The Constitution provides for freedom of speech, association, thought, beliefs & religion. This is a democratic nation, a free world,” Lepatu stated.

Several attempts to get the MP to comment failed.