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PNG Police Boss Manning wants investigation for the death of murder suspect in Hagen police cell

PNG Acting  Commissioner of Police David Manning has promised that an investigation will be conducted into the death of a murder suspect in the Police cells in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province.
Mr Manning made this remark following the discovery of the body of murder suspect namely Lape Mole, age 40, of Karai Village in Tari, Hela Province in the Mt Hagen Police Cells.
The deceased was alleged to have been involved in the death of a Tari based Police Mobile Squad Nine (MS09) member, Second-in-Command (2IC) late Sergeant David Hale and the wounding of Constable James Kopil.
The deceased and three other suspects were apprehended by a group of Tari-based police on Thursday, 07th of November 2019. They were then transported the next day (Friday, 08th of November 2019) to Mt Hagen by Police Mobile Squad and PNG Defence Force personnel for security reasons and for further interview and processing.
The deceased and alleged accomplices were detained at the Mt Hagen Police Station Cell number 10 where he was found dead at around 11:30am on Monday, 11th November 2019.
Acting Commissioner Manning said police will investigate the cause of the death of the murder suspect. He said the deceased is now subject to a Coroner’s inquest. He said once completed, police will take appropriate action.
"It is rather unfortunate that the suspect died in police custody, allegedly because of police beatings. Anyone arrested by police are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The police cannot take on the role of the courts and hand out punishment at the same time. This is totally wrong and goes against the fundamental roles and responsibilities of police officers.
"We have sworn an oath to protect lives and property and if necessary to put our lives on the line for our people. Police officers must always remember that," Mr Manning said.

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