17 Jan 2005

PNG police dismayed at bail decision

2:33 pm on 17 January 2005

A decision by a Papua New Guinea District Court to grant bail to two foreigners charged with illegally residing in the country has angered police in Morobe province.

The Post Courier reports that the Lae District court granted bail to both men who had been arrested during police operations against illegal gaming machine owners and operators and persons residing in the country illegally.

Both had valid passports but their visas had expired.

One, who was married to a local woman, was granted bail on medical grounds to allow him to complete a course of medication.

The other was bailed on condition that he surrender his passport, not leave Lae City and report regularly to police.

Both were given time to renew their visas and their cases were adjourned to later in the week.

The paper says their release has angered police and other authorities who felt the court was not treating the matter as serious.