30 Jun 2005

PNG Judge warns criminal police will be punished severely

8:05 pm on 30 June 2005

A National Court Judge in Papua New Guinea says police who commit crime will be punished more severely than ordinary citizens.

Justice Panuel Mogish's comments come as police provincial commanders were warned to get tough with their staff at a national conference.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, said lawsuits and complaints against police had cost the constabulary large sums of money.

In recent weeks six police were jailed for murder and another has pleaded guilty to official corruption.

Justice Mogish says rather than be treated less harshly, as has been the call from some defending counsel, police should feel the full force of the law.

"One would expect them to understand the law. The consequence of committing crimes, more than the ordinary citizen, so I think that, subject to the circumstances, treating them, looking at their crimes in a very serious manner would be appropriate."

Justice Panuel Mogish.