99 suspects appear in court over alleged killing of seven

Main Stories

NINETY-nine suspects appeared yesterday at the Madang National Court for the alleged killing of seven people, including two children in Rai Coast three years ago.
Earlier on 122 suspects appeared in court charged with wilful murder – in relation to the same incident on April 14, 2014 – but were all released on bail.
Of the 122 suspects, 97 appeared on Wednesday and pleaded guilty.
They were alleged to be part of the group called Hausman that declared war against sorcerers in their area in Naho-Rawa LLG in Raicoast, Madang, and went around killing people including children.
Justice David Cannings read their charges in court on Wednesday and said the 97 were charged with seven counts of murder each for the alleged killing of seven people at Sakiko village located at the back of Ramu Sugar township on 14 April, 2014.
Each of them were alleged to be part of a group that walked from Ranara to Sakiko with only one common interest and that was to kill the suspected sorcerers who fled to Sakiko.
People from the Gomumu, Saranga, Niniko and other areas in the Tauta area in Naho-Rawa LLG fled to Sakiko in fear of death which they suspected were caused by sorcery.
They accused, chopped the victims’ bodies to pieces, burnt one inside a house after chopping him, split open the skulls of two other men and murdered two children aged three and five.
The three-year-old boy was forcefully snatched from his mother who tried to run away with her other children.
Two of the suspects arrived from their village yesterday and joined the 97 others.
Justice Cannings adjourned the matter to April 18 for a full trial. The suspects are in custody.