Freedom for dad, son

National

By CHRISTOPHER YOWAT
A FATHER and son on death row since 2013 have been acquitted by the Supreme Court of the murder charges against them because the trial judge had erred in convicting them.
Selman Amos, 66, and his son Misialis Amos, (age not confirmed) of Kait, Konoagl, New Ireland, were sentenced to death by the Kokopo National Court in 2013 for the murder of three people near Tokua Airport in 2008.
The court was told that the bodies of the three were dumped in the mangrove swamp.
Selman and Misialis applied to the Supreme Court to review the decision by the National Court judge who had convicted and sentenced them.
A five-man Supreme Court bench consisting of Justice Derek Hartshorn, Justice Les Gavara-Nanu, Justice Panuel Mogish, Justice Fraser Pitpit and Justice Lawrence Kangwia upheld the appeal and ordered that the two be acquitted of their convictions and sentences. The decision by the five judges was unanimous.
The bench ruled that the trial judge (the late Kokopo National Court resident judge Justice Salatiel Lenalia) had erred and had made errors in his findings.
The judges ruled that he accepted circumstantial evidence which amounted to an error of law.
The conviction and sentence imposed on Selman and Misialis Amos were therefore quashed which entitled them to be discharged.
They were represented by State lawyers.
The court ordered that the two be taken back to the Kerevat Correctional Services facility in East New Britain by the Correctional Services who had transported them to Bomana in Port Moresby.
They are to be officially released from there.

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