‘Accused punched once’

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A MAN accused of causing the death of a woman who jumped off a car he was driving has argued that she took it upon herself to jump out.
Richard Namaliu, pictured, represented by lawyer Frederick Kirriwom from the Public Solicitor’s office, is facing a criminal negligence charge for the death of a former Miss PNG Ruby-Anne Laufa on Feb 11, 2017.
Kirriwom told Justice Teresa Berrigan in the National Court that the manner in which Laufa died was “sudden and extraordinary”.
He said Namaliu had used the car’s central locking system to lock all doors after Laufa had threatened to jump out.
Namaliu, 28, from Raluana village in Kokopo, East New Britain, allegedly drove to Laufa’s home at Fort Bena in the University of PNG staff residential area and picked her up at around 10am. He was allegedly drunk.
The State also alleged that Namaliu punched Laufa several times in the car causing Laufa to jump out.
But Kirriwom claimed that Namaliu had punched Laufa only once in the car after an argument.
“We submit that the accused did not fail to protect the deceased.
“He is a person not responsible for someone who acted otherwise.
“Laufa’s act was sudden and extraordinary.”
Lawyer David Kuvi representing the State said evidence that Namaliu had caused Laufa’s death was undisputed.
“Evidence of witnesses who saw the accused assault Laufa before her death does make up.
“Also, there were signs of the accused being intoxicated at the time.
“And that it was Namaliu’s alleged punch that made the deceased jump out of the car,” Kuvi said.
Justice Berrigan will hand down her verdict at a later date.

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