Court dismisses ‘attempted killing’ case


By Alphonse Porau
A man accused of attempting to kill two people he suspected of practising sorcery had his case dismissed in court yesterday.
Gideon Ekaeva Butu, 47 and from Eastern Highlands, was charged with the attempted murder of two people suspected of killing his daughter.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar ruled in favour of his lawyer’s submission and discharged him.
The lawyer from the public solicitor’s office submitted three grounds to dismiss the case.
He submitted that:

  • The incident occurred during the night when lighting was a problem and those involved were not identified – including the accused;
  • Many people were involved in the attack but only the accused was accused of the crime; and
  • All statements presented were written in perfect English and there was no clear indication as to whether they were also in pidgin or other languages. And if there was, there must be a translation clause.

Bidar told the court that considering the feature of evidence and the submissions, the evidence was insufficient to commit the defendant to a trial.
He said the court could rely on the evidence, especially from the witness who wrote their statements in perfect in English without any translation clause indicating the language they used.
“With that, the court has made its decision, that there is evidence that the victims were assaulted but no proof that the accused had attacked the two victims.
“For this reason, the case is struck out and bail refunded.”
It was alleged that the accused arranged and planned for a witchdoctor to be brought over from Abau in Central who he believed would tell of the death of a young girl.
After conspiring and colluding with a witchdoctor, they attacked and inflicted deep wounds on two old men they suspected of harming the young girl through sorcery.