“Sacking to ‘defeat and frustrate’ case September 29,2015, 01:13 am”


ANTI-corruption team headed by Sam Koim has branded the sacking of two senior police officers as a means to frustrate and defeat the current court cases against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Chief Inspector Timothy Gitua and Assistant Commissioner of Police Thomas Eluh were sacked yesterday on separate disciplinary charges.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki defended the sackings, saying that the termination of their services had nothing to do with the investigations into the Prime Minister.

“These are completely isolated incidents and have nothing to do with the investigations. These are issues caused by their own conduct.

“This is an internal disciplinary process, therefore Mr Koim has to be very careful with what he says,” Mr Baki said. He said Mr Eluh’s sacking was related to insubordination to former Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki while Mr Gitua was discharged for using unnecessary force at a night club while under the influence of alcohol.

In a news conference earlier yesterday, chairman of Investigation Task Force Sweep Sam Koim claimed that the two officers were sacked under circumstances not isolated to the current cases pending in court relating to the arrest warrant against Mr O’Neill.

“In the grand scheme of things that are, we have been observing for over a period of more than one year, are things that have been calculated to defeat and frustrate the ongoing cases that we have had,” Mr Koim said.

There were four high profile cases that were listed by Mr Koim whereby either or both Mr Eluh and Mr Gitua are involved in. These cases are ongoing with some major trials next month.

Mr Koim also mentioned multiple unsuccessful attempts previously made to remove the two senior officers, Chief Superintendent Mathew Damaru and others.

He also touched on the travel ban on Greg Egan and Terry Lambert, legal representatives of Mr Damaru and Mr Gitua, from entering the country. He said that Justice Nicholas Kirriwom on August 28 dismissed an application for the removal of these lawyers, stating that Mr Gitua and Mr Damaru were policemen performing duties in the interest of the country.


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