A MAN accused of stealing more than K13,000 in cash during a 2007 armed robbery of Pelgens Supermaket at China Town was acquitted by the National Court in Lae yesterday because the police identification process was not conducted properly.
Before letting the accused Eya David, walk free, Justice George Manuhu warned that if he did commit the crime he should not re-offend.
David in his 30s from Zenamba village, Morobe Patrol Post in the Huon Gulf, was charged with one count of armed robbery.
He appeared on trial on Monday and pleaded not guilty.
The court was told that on March 18, 2007, at 5.40pm, David and some accomplices, armed with home-made shot guns and other dangerous weapons, threatened the general manager of the supermarket, Helmut Pelgen and stole K13,401.37 in cash and escaped.
His counsel said “he was only apprehended because” he was among a group of men who were in a drinking spree at Bumbu settlement the day after the incident.
When releasing him yesterday, Justice Manuhu found that the only State witness who gave a positive identification was Stanley Gawi, who is a shop assistant with the supermarket.
Mr Gawi had identified the accused at the police station after the accused was apprehended.
The second witness, police investigator Nick Kotine, gave evidence that only three men were brought into the office and the accused was identified.