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Port Moresby
January 24, 2021

Sufficient Evidence for Further Trial

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An application to proceed with the ‘condom eating saga’ case as a human rights case, and not a criminal case, was refused and dismissed by the Waigani Committal Court this morning.

Senior Magistrate Cosmas Bidar made the ruling on the grounds that the victim was not charged and the police internal unit has the powers to conduct internal investigations into the actions of police officers.

The court also found this morning that there was sufficient evidence to commit Probationary Constables Jacklyn Tanda and Joshua Yawijah to stand trial at the National Court in Port Moresby.

Police allege that the two accused forced a young woman to swallow three condoms inside an interview room at the Boroko Police Station last December.

The two were initially charged for abuse of office, deprivation of personal liberty and doing an indecent act to insult another person.

However this morning, the court dropped the abuse of office and deprivation of liberty charges on the grounds that they were improper charges.

Bidar explained to the police prosecution that those two charges were improper based on the evidence that was before the courts.

The accused were present in court when the ruling was made.

It is alleged that on December 4, 2015, Yawijah, Tanda and another police officer took in a young woman for questing at the Boroko Police Station.

During the interrogation, the woman was asked to empty her bilum, which contained seven condoms.

Yawijah is accused to have forced the woman to swallow the condoms while Tanda filmed the event.

The video was later uploaded to social media and prompted the police internal unit to investigate.

It took eight months for the Committal Court to make a ruling on whether to commit the accused to a higher court.

This matter will be listed for a final mention at the Committal Court as required by the District Court Act.

It also means the two accused are at the liberty of making submissions on the sufficiency of the evidence.

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