THE head political reporter of the Sunday Chronicle and Midweek Chronicle newspapers, Benny Malaisa, has been ambushed and bashed by police in an act of police brutality.
M Malaisa was in a taxi on his way home last Thursday night when a vehicle drove in front of the cab and blocked it near the Aopi Centre in Port Moresby.
Two police emerged from what was apparently an unmarked police vehicle, registration BCG 006.
The two police accused the journalist of swearing at them. Mr Malaisa said he was not aware of what they were talking about as it was the first time he had seen the officers.
However he admitted to calling two Lamana Motel security guards ‘idiots who should be looking after their customers’ after they had mocked him when he threw up outside the motel.
The policemen ordered him to get out of the taxi and proceeded to punch and kick him. One went back to the unmarked vehicle, pulled out a pump action shotgun and pointed it at him threatening to shoot.
Mr Malaisa maintained he had done nothing wrong and that they should stop.
Despite his appeals, they continued punching and kicking him until he fell to the ground where he was further kicked and gun butted by the two policemen while a third watched.
As the reporter tried to sit up after being knocked to the ground, a policemen kicked him in the face with his boot, splitting his upper lip and gashing his head.
“While I lay on the ground, injured and bleeding profusely, they kept kicking and gun butting me, especially my head. I realised I had to stand up because they would not stop and, if I continued to lie on the ground, I could be killed.”
After 40-50 minutes of beating the journalist was released when security from the nearby Aopi Centre congregated. The shocked cab driver was sitting nearby.
“Just as well the cab driver kept was sitting there waiting otherwise it would have been another story,” Mr Malaisa said later.
He was driven home to his family who took him to Port Moresby General Hospital where he was stitched and treated.
“I have the utmost respect for the rule of law and law enforcement agencies, Mr Malaisa said.
“It is unfortunate that there are these few who think they are above the law and do things that bring the entire police force into disrepute.
“These rogue members should be weeded out to maintain integrity in the force.”
He said he will lay a formal complaint with Police Internal Affairs, the Metropolitan Superintendent and the Acting Police Commissioner’s Office.