122 suspects in Madang trial

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THE National Court in Madang will hear one of the biggest trials involving 122 suspects allegedly involved in the killing of eight people in the Raicoast district in 2014.
Only 39 appeared before Justice David Cannings in a special call- over yesterday which focused on their administration and welfare while attending the trial.
Councils representing them and the state agreed to have the full trial today while Madang business man Peter Yama will accommodate them.
The court was assured that the remaining 83 would join the others today.
The 122 suspects were involved in the alleged killing in the Naho Rawa LLG, Raicoast, in April 2014.
The mass arrest of the suspects was made under the command of former Madang provincial police commander Chief Inspector Sylvester Kalaut, with policemen from Madang, Ramu Sugar and Bulolo.
Police made the arrests in the Tauta area on April 10, 2014 and locked up all the suspects at Gusap police station in Ramu Sugar before bringing them to Madang and sent to Beon jail.
They were released on bail later.
Kalaut said at the time that the suspects from the Ninigo, Gomumu, Ranara and other villages in the Tauta area had raided one of the villages and burnt down houses and killed the eight people.
“They killed seven men and snatched off a three year-old boy from his mother’s arms and chopped him as well,” Kalaut said.
He said the killing was a kind done in certain cult practices as the people killed were slashed from their legs up and their heads were cut off and taken away.
Kalaut condemned the killings and said 120 of them including some ring leaders were charged with murder, attempted murder, arson and wounding.
He also confirmed that 69 were juveniles at that time who have been charged and left back in Gusap and only 122 were brought to Beon CIS, the youngest was a 10- year-old boy.
Kalaut said the 69 juveniles were charged for being in procession of offensive weapons and were given court fines of K200 during a court session at Gusap.
He said the men were part of the group called “haus man” who had been going around the area killing suspected sorcerers.