Former PNG Police boss found guilty of contempt

FORMER Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki has been found guilty of contempt for disobeying a court order to execute an arrest warrant on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia found Vaki guilty on two of the three contempt charges brought against him in the National Court in Waigani.
The arrest warrant was issued by Chief Magistrate Nerrie Eliakim in the Waigani District Court on June 12, last year.
The contempt proceedings were initiated by the Director of the Police national fraud and anti-corruption directorate Chief Superintendent Matthew Damaru and his assistant Chief Inspector Timothy Gitua.
Sir Salamo ruled that the warrant of arrest issued by the chief magistrate was a court order which Vaki had knowledge of and disobeyed. 
Sir Salamo said Vaki’s actions would have raised questions in the mind of the public of the role of the police commissioner. 
He said Vaki’s actions amounted to interfering with the due administration of justice, saying the warrant was clear and unambiguous and directed to all members of the police force, including the commissioner. 
Vaki is out on bail on his own recognisance. 
The case returns to court on June 25 to hear submissions on the penalty to be imposed.
The contempt charges relate to allegations that Vaki had prevented or frustrated the execution of the warrant of arrest on O’Neill last year. 
Vaki had pleaded not guilty and argued that he was not given the investigation files into O’Neill’s alleged involvement in the payment of legal fees to a law firm. ONE PNG /The National

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