PNG judge condemns ‘brutality’ of rogue acts by disciplinary forces

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Justice Panuel Mogish
PNG's Justice Panuel Mogish ... "authorities are challenged to deal with those rogue officers." Image: Newslink PNG

Pacific Media Centre

Offences perpetrated by members of Papua New Guinea’s disciplinary forces have become prevalent in the country during the coronavirus pandemic, says National Court judge Justice Panuel Mogish.

Justice Mogish, while sentencing PNG Defence Force soldier Nelson Pap at the Bomana National Court yesterday for causing grievous bodily harm to a woman under the influence of alcohol, said it was “unbecoming” of a soldier to act in such manner.

“The recent allegations of brutality committed by members of the disciplinary forces have become prevalent during the covid-19 operations,” he said, reports the PNG Post-Courier.

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“Authorities are challenged to deal with those rogue officers, who act as a law unto themselves.

“The offender in this case was charged for a crime against an innocent woman.

“The same should apply to rogue officers.

“They should be swiftly dealt with to restore confidence and integrity in the various disciplines they serve.”

Suspended sentence
Pap was sentenced to three years and six months jail.

However, Justice Mogish suspended the entire sentence and placed him on a good behaviour bond for three years.

“In this case, an iron rod was used to assault the victim,” he said.

“I consider a sentence of three-and-a-half years appropriate.

“The offence committed by the offender was out of character and given the strong mitigating factors and, in particular, the absence of any intent or ulterior motive, I am convinced there is room for rehabilitation for the offender.

“A suspended sentence would be in order.”

Justice Mogish ordered that the sentence be suspended and the offender be placed on good behaviour bond for three years.

He ordered the offender to pay a fine of K1000 (NZ$485), recommended the offender be dealt with under the appropriate provision of the Defence Act, and that he refrain from consuming alcohol as part of his good behavior bond.

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