Funding woes hit trial

National

By ELIZABETH VUVU
A STATE lawyer has told a court hearing into the mv Rabaul Queen disaster that because of limited funding, only a few witnesses could be brought to give evidence.
State lawyer Paul Banister told the trial yesterday at the Kokopo National Court that they wanted to bring witnesses from other centres to testify but funds were yet to be made available.
Bannister sought an adjournment of the trial to Oct 10.
On trial at the Kokopo National Court are Captain Peter Sharp and Anthony Tsiau who are facing 172 counts of manslaughter, and for sending and taking an unseaworthy vessel out to sea. Yesterday, one witness was flown to Kokopo to give evidence. Four others are expected to arrive today, and six more later this week.
Bannister said funds had been put aside for witness Martin Renilson from Australia, a maritime expert scheduled to give evidence on Oct 17, plus other witnesses.
Yesterday, survivors Jonathan Wama, Jack Tau and Manui Sui gave evidence.
Wama from Wewak, East Sepik, was travelling with his mother Josephine and younger sister Cynthia when the ship sank on Feb 2, 2012. It was the last time he saw them.
Tau, a forklift operator with Trukai Industries, was travelling with cousin sister Scholar Tom from Kimbe on Feb 1, 2012. He never saw her again after the ship sank off the coast of Finschhafen.
Sui, a farmer from Maprik in East Sepik, said he boarded the ship from Kimbe with wife Ruth and six-year-old son Hubert.

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