By PNG Echo.
Yesterday, Judge Polume heard an urgent application, ex parte (without the opposing parties) to stay the criminal charges recently levelled against Fraud Squad Officer, Matthew Damaru.
Ostensibly, according to her ruling, this was to enable Damaru to continue with his policing duties.
So what was stopping him, in the first place?
According to the press release of the RPNGC immediately following the arrest:
Mr Andrews [Deputy Police Commissioner] said whilst Mr Damaru is criminally charged for the alleged offences, he remains on active duty as Director NFACD and continues to perform his normal Constitutional Duties.
So what was so urgent? Why was it held ex parte? Why did the court entertain such an application? What could the cause of actions possibly be when Damaru was still in position?
This was not an internal issue, this was an official investigated complaint by one of PNGs most senior judges.
Sir Bernard’s Case
To say that Sir Bernard Sakora “got off on a technicality” on the charges for which he was recently arrested, is to downplay the devious manner in which the arrest was effected.
In these circumstances, it is up to the Public Prosecutor to decide whether there is enough evidence to arrest someone. I suggest that Damaru’s motives for not following the correct procedure may just have been because he was afraid the Public Prosecutor would say no. He was operating on the premise that it was easier to obtain forgiveness than permission.
But what he got was neither – and he should be made to answer for this treachery.
Irony and hypocrisy
Just in case you’ve missed the ironic and hypocritical part – Damaru has decided not to ‘submit’ to the court (as he and others of his ilk want the Prime Minister to do) but has decided to try to use the system to stymie the process.
However if I’d been screaming the line of “step down and submit to the process” as loud as Damaru has, I would now be very embarrassed at my own actions.
No sense, no feeling?
What’s more, people are constantly quoting how no one is above the law – well public perception is that Damaru now is.
On a popular, anti-government Facebook site one commenter wrote:
Today, as we write or speak, there is one man immune to the law and that is Damaru. Nothing will be done to him.
This was said, not in lament, but in triumph. The courts have a lot to answer for.