Witchcraft killing on the rise in Moresby: Court

National

By LEMACH LAVARI
Sorcery-related murders and attempted murders are becoming common in Port Moresby, a Waigni Committal Court magistrate said yesterday.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar said this in court when presiding over the case of Gideon Butu, 47, of Lufa, Eastern Highlands.
Butu was charged with two counts of attempted murder.
The court heard that on July 16, 2016, at the Garden Hill Settlement in Port Moresby, Butu bribed and intoxicated about 20 men in the settlement with beer, homebrew and marijuana.
He colluded with them and carried out the torture of two men (names withheld) whom they accused of using sorcery kill his daughter.
It was alleged that Butu, with the aid of others, inflicted deep cuts and burns with sharp knives, heated iron bars and boiling water on the victims.
A police patrol intervened and rescued the victims.
They were hospitalised for about a month.
The defendant evaded police but was eventually arrested.
He admitted to the allegations against him and was charged.
He is out on bail awaiting the court’s ruling.
Magistrate Bidar adjourned his ruling to Nov 16 as the defendant’s lawyer failed to show up in court.

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