28 Jun 2005

PNG court jails three policemen for killing teenager

4:06 pm on 28 June 2005

A court in Papua New Guinea has sentenced three policemen to 25 years in jail with hard labour for the murder of a 16-year-old boy in 2001.

Sergeant John Winamba and Constables Paul Gabi and Blassius Bana were jailed by Justice Moses Jalina in the National Court in Wewak.

The newspaper, The National, reports the court found that the officers had wrongfully picked up Kennedy Balamus during a commotion and had beaten him on the head with a stick as well as kicked and punched him before locking him in a police cell at Wewak.

The bleeding boy was not allowed medical help and later died from head injuries after spending the night in the cell.

His uncle, Paul Balamus, says it took the family four years to bring the officers before the courts but he is grateful justice has been done.

Meanwhile, the National Court in Mt Hagen in the Highlands is considering sentences for another three policemen found guilty of killing a 12-year-old boy and burning his house in September 2003.