​Wewak cops guilty of arson, rape

A former Wewak Police Station commander has been convicted of arson.

The Wewak National Court found Chief Inspector Sakawar Kasieng, of Sibilanga Village, Sandaun Province, guilty on Wednesday for arson, while four of his officers were convicted for raping a 17-year-old girl at her family home on 7 December 2013.

Robin Weibi of Tomonoum Village, Nuku, Sandaun Province, Timon Kangapu of Hirae Village, Kopiago, Southern Highlands Province, Stanley Moui Jombu of Passam, East Sepik Province, and Nigel Tianguma Harvey of Mikarew area, Bogia, Madang Province, were all found guilty for rape.

They were found guilty after a trial was conducted last week by Justice George Manuhu in Wewak.

The victim, who is now 21 years old, gave evidence in court during the trial with her mother and father.

The father of the victim was serving 40 years in jail for wilful murder when he and other prisoners escaped.

On 7 December 2013, at least 15 policemen, led by Chief Inspector Sakawar, with the assistance of civilian informants, conducted a dawn raid on a hamlet at Kwanumbo Village, Boikin, East Sepik Province. This was to capture a number of prison escapees, including the rape victim’s father. 

The court heard that during the raid, two houses were torched, items were stolen and the escapees were apprehended and tied up. One escapee had his leg shot at after he had been restrained.

The four named policemen then entered the victim’s house and raped her. Her hands and legs were held onto the floor as each one took his turn to sexually penetrate her without her consent.

When the victim’s mother complained to Chief Inspector Sakawar, she was told to shut up and on the Chief Inspector’s orders, she was assaulted and restrained by policemen.

Upon their arrest, Inspector Sakawar and the four policemen exercised their right to remain silent. 

They will return to court on 19 June 2017. The adjournment is to allow time for pre-sentence reports to be compiled at the request of the five.

The Court will make a decision on the sentence after receiving the reports and hearing submissions.

(Loop file pic)

Sally Pokiton