Judge: Probe MPs named
By GEEJAY MILLI
WAIGANI National Court judge Justice Panuel Mogish has strongly recommended to the police commissioner to “immediately investigate” persons who have been named by convicted escapee and suspected bank robber William Nanua Kapris.
Mogish made the comments yesterday at the Waigani National Court when sentencing Kapris to four years for escaping from lawful custody on Feb 9, 2008, and Jan 12 this year.
The four years will be added onto the 15 years he is serving for rape and attempted murder.
Addressing the prisoner, Mogish said the “others from high places” allegedly involved in the crimes would be investigated, charged and brought to justice.
Kapris had earlier asked why he was the only one “suffering” for crimes that were not wholly initiated by him but which involved “people from high places”.
“So much as everyone would have wanted to think, there is evidence that the offender (Kapris) was involved,” Mogish said.
“Those persons have been named by the offender and, in my respectful view, falling short of a direction, I would recommend to the police commissioner (Gari Baki) to immediately investigate those purportedly involved in the offence.
“It is up to police and the public prosecutor to investigate, charge and prosecute those involved or named.”
Appearing before Justice Bernard Sakora on Wednesday, Kapris had named a number of people who had allegedly benefited from the Metals Refining Operations (MRO) robbery where cash and gold bars were stolen.
Among them were suspended Treasurer and Finance Minister Patrick Pruaitch, Correctional Services Minister Tony Aimo and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Francis Marus.
The others included former employees of MRO, an Asian businessman and an alleged criminal mastermind.
They have not responded to the allegations by Kapris.
Mogish said crimes committed by gangs were becoming frequent, more organised and sophisticated.
He said one way to dismantle gang crimes was to encourage offenders to give evidence against their gang members.
“This is a factor I take into account in favour of the offender. By his revelation, he has come to the aid of police and the state,” Mogish said.
He also called on the Correctional Services to review its practices and procedures on keeping high-risk offenders in the maximum security unit (MSU) as, at the moment, security was “far from satisfactory”.
He said the MSU was meant for prisoners considered a threat to society; the hard-core criminals who fall into the high-risk category as they must be given special attention to prevent them from escaping.
However, Mogish described the Jan 12 escape as being one where security was at its “lowest”.
“The warders on duty literally went to sleep; no steps were taken to check the female posing as a lawyer.
“If a warder had done this task, the gun would have been detected on the female.
“As it turned out, no one took an interest in what she was doing or carrying that day.”
Mogish said law abiding citizens of PNG expected prison authorities to keep offenders behind bars at all costs.