PNG MP remains in custody


“Fabian, Fabian, why did you do that, why?” were the alleged words of Moresby Northwest MP Lohia Boe Samuel contained in a Papua New Guinea police statement of facts after the shooting incident at a restaurant in Port Moresby few days ago.

Fabian Hera is Samuel’s protocol officer and was with Samuel and the deceased Robert Jerry during the incident at the Fusion 2 Restaurant in Waigani on 11 March.

Both men have been charged with Jerry’s death and are currently detained at the Boroko police cell.

According to the police statement of facts which was tendered in court, it alleges that the two accused were with the deceased, eating at the restaurant and were having some conversation together when a ‘disagreement must have arisen’ and Samuel allegedly drew his firearm, a pistol, and shot the deceased ‘straight away’ on his right neck under his ear, penetrating his back and causing his immediate death.

Police alleged that Samuel then stood up, banged the table and yelled out ‘Fabian, Fabian, why did you do that, why?’ before putting the pistol down on the seat pointing to Fabian and walked out while Fabian stood there with ‘his hands on his head looking lost.’

This police statement was used in court last Friday during the application of both Samuel and Fabian, who are facing murder charges.

Samuel was refused bail while Fabian was allowed K5000 (US$1,420) bail with an additional K1000 (US$284) each from his guarantors.

Police confirmed that both Samuel and Fabian are still being detained at the Boroko police cell while Fabian’s family are organising funds to meet Fabian’s bail.

During Samuel’s bail application last Friday, the court found, among others, that the police facts were poorly drafted in that they surmise that an argument ‘must have’ taken place before the shooting.

Presiding judge, Justice Teresa Berrigan in her ruling stated that “whilst what pre-empted the shooting was not clear, the facts spoke to a deliberate, if perhaps unplanned, shooting by the applicant (Samuel), using his own weapon…”

Sasingian Lawyers assisting Samuel in the matter said they will re-file bail to contest the police statement that was tendered in court.

The court in its ruling acknowledged Samuel’s standing as a leader in the community and appreciated the fact that his term as an MP would come to an end before the next election but indicated that those must be balanced against the seriousness of the alleged offence.