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Students’ lawyer served with contempt notice over UPNG protests


THE University of Papua New Guinea will today initiate contempt of court proceedings against Student's Representative Council lawyer Laken Lepatu Aigilo.

UPNG allege the young lawyer (pictured) encouraged students to go on strike after the court issued a restraining order not to do so.

UPNG is also blaming Aigilo for property damage that occurred when campus buildings were burned down.

"I welcome the proceeding and, if the law finds me guilty, let me serve the prison term," Aigilo said.

"The UPNG students took bullets for Papua New Guinea. I can take a prison term or pay a fine for PNG if found guilty," he added.

In June, Aigilo sought a court order to restrain police from arresting and harassing student leaders. He also sought an order to summon police commissioner Gari Baki, commander Sylvester Kalaut and metropolitan superintendent Ben Turi to come to court and explain why they ordered the shooting of the students.

These orders were refused by the court, Justice Derek Hartshorn ruling that police cannot be prevented from performing their constitutional function or be stopped by the court from conducting investigations.

Justice Hartshorn said students have rights under the constitution but found the balance of convenience did not favour the students, adding they could still sue police for damages.


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Philip Fitzpatrick

As Peter Turner would have it on the exkiap website there were three people wounded by projectiles in the fracas at UPNG. Two were hit in the leg and one in the buttock.

Peter said that the students were throwing rocks at the police and one of them was hit in the head. It is suspected that he ‘got even’ by shooting, thankfully aiming low.

According to Peter about 40 people were injured in the stampede that followed.

The SRC President was hit by a gas projectile in the chest. He appeared on TV two days later and has been arrested and charged with a variety of offences.

I don’t know how you check the veracity of Peter’s claims. As many people know he is a strong supporter of the RPNGC and raises money to help retired police and their families.

The point is there are always two sides to any story. To date we have mainly been getting the student’s side.

That aside, it is very apparent that the situation was handled very badly, particularly by UPNG.

There were a number of journalist's who were eye witnesses. They generally supported the students' story and their reports were disseminated widely - KJ

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