By JACOB POK
FORMER executive director of the office of climate change Dr Theo Yasause has claimed that he was assaulted, harassed and abused by Correctional Service (CS) officers while in remand at Bomana prison outside
Yasause’s lawyers raised this as one of the grounds in an application for bail before Justice Ere Kariko at the
Yasause was charged with the wilful murder of former rugby league star Aquila Emil and was remanded at the Bomana prison when the district court, which he first appeared in, allowed him only to make a bail application at the
Yasause, through his lawyers, claimed that he was at one stage stripped naked and assaulted by CS officers when first taken to Bomana prison, adding that he was subject to continuous ill-treatment and was in fear for his life.
Yasause’s lawyer also submitted that the applicant had no knowledge of the allegations against him and blamed the print media for painting a bad picture of him as being the alleged suspect in the death of Emil.
He also claimed in his submission that he had to surrender to police because of statements published in the print media that police would hunt him down if he failed too surrender.
It was also submitted that Yasause held a doctorate in political science and held number of senior positions in government departments prior to his arrest.
He was recently involved as a leading consultant in assisting landowners in the negotiation process of the multi-billion kina LNG operations at the time of his arrest.
Yasause’s lawyer further submitted that Yasause was married and had four children who attend school and he was the only provider of the family, adding that bail must be granted as the welfare of the family would be in jeopardy if he remained in prison.
However, state lawyers opposed the bail application on the basis that the suspect had used a firearm and did not co-operate with police during investigations into Emil’s death.
The state submitted that police found bookings of air tickets under the name of the applicant after the shooting.
The state also submitted that the handgun and the suspect’s car were not surrendered.
In rebutting some grounds in the bail application, state lawyers submitted there was no medical report provided by the appellant on his allegations of being assaulted by CS officials.
State lawyers also said that the applicant did not specify or name the landowner groups he claimed to assist as a consultant, adding that the LNG projects would still proceed without the appellant’s providing the said assistance.
The court’s ruling on Yasause’s bail application would be given today.