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Port Moresby
January 23, 2021

Court Asks Baki to Explain Terms of Reference

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By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby

The National Court in Port Moresby has directed Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, to explain his intentions behind “legal concerns” he included as Terms of Reference (TOR) when he issued directions to investigate the actions of the Fraud squad.

Justice Colin Makail told Baki’s lawyer, Nicholas Tema, the matters were before both the National and Supreme Courts, and asked him to make a response next Wednesday.

Justice Makail’s directions were in relation to the temporary closure of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate on Monday afternoon.

He directed Tema’s attention to point three of the first of the TORs, which were published on page 39 of one of a daily newspaper yesterday.

The TOR questions the conduct of the Fraud Director, Chief Superintendent Matthew Damaru, and his members in challenging the commissioner in court and whether the legal representation of Damaru and his Deputy, Timothy Gitua, by private lawyers is a conflict of interest and if it breaches the Police Act.

Justice Makail repeated at least three times when emphasising that those matters are undergoing proceedings in the National and Supreme Courts.

Baki justified the temporary closure of the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate in the article as measures he is taking to ensure accountability is maintained in the conduct of major fraud investigations and to restore command and control in the RPNGC.

At the moment, there is a court order that restrains Commissioner Baki from interfering with the operations of the Fraud Squad.

But Baki has gone ahead to investigate the legal representation of Damaru and Gitua by private lawyers.

His actions have resulted in the National Court asking him to justify these next Wednesday.


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