30/05/2013 17:24

Catholic lawyer welcomes tougher laws against crime, but rejects death penalty

25 MAY 2013. Private lawyer and member of Catholic Professionals Association Paul Harricknen has welcomed today the proposed new set of laws to fight crime. “It is across the board and balanced – he said in a press release -. It deals with violent assaults and killings, rape and all forms of criminal sexual abuses, sorcery and witchcraft, stealing and corruption”. Mr. Harricknen particularly applauded the proposed penalties for stealing, misappropriation and corruption in the public sector; and the establishing of the overdue Independent Commission Against Corruption. “If Government is serious about transforming PNG – he said -, it has to fight corruption and improve governance; for the lack of these brings about all other common crimes."

"The biggest challenge, however, - according to Atty. Paul Harricknen -, remains the capacity to enforce and implement these laws and policies. The wheels of the criminal justice system and the public service machinery must work better.” Therefore, he is not against the recently proposed Enhanced Cooperation Program with Australia. “Why not? – he says. - Let us admit our shortcomings, swallow our national pride and get help. Our public servants, police and law enforcement agencies need help to change deficiencies in discipline, work attitude, officials’ corruption and so on”.

Mr. Harricknen does not support death penalty: “The State cannot kill to avenge killing. It cannot use violence against violence. Two wrongs do not make a right. We must not allow our emotions to rid us of our good conscience, wisdom and the knowledge of God's presence and His values and counsel. It goes against the dignity of the human person. There is no need for death penalty if the criminal justice system and the public service machinery function effectively and bring certainty to the system.” (www.cbcpngsi.orggiorgiolicini@yahoo.com)