Court to rule on soldiers’ case

The National, Wednesday July 6th, 2016

Waigani Committal Court Magistrate John Kaumi is expected to rule on July 28 whether there is sufficient evidence against six soldiers charged with the murder of a student in the National Capital District.
The soldiers’ lawyer Ignatius Mambei filed a submission on the insufficiency of evidence on their behalf yesterday.
Kaumi told police prosecutor Sandra Holland to respond to Mambei’s submission before July 28.
The soldiers are Jude Nidung, Kenneth Yangun, David Travolta, Gregory Tuaki, Tobias Samson and Alwin Matiabe. They were charged with the murder of 17-year-old Jeremaiah Yinu on July 25 last year during a cultural show at the Coronation Primary School in NCD.
The issue before the court was whether the evidence provided by the police was sufficient to establish a prima facie case against the soldiers.
Mambei submitted that the 14 witness statements provided by the police were not sufficient because they were not typed by the witnesses.
“It is our submission that generally all the statements are similar, word for word in some paragraphs and are all identical. It means that the same person drafted the statements for all the named witnesses to sign,” Mambei said in his six-page submission.
He submitted that the police had conducted a poor investigation and all the witnesses were unreliable.
He stated that some of the statements said the victim was kicked on the body but the medical report did not show fractured bones.
Mambei submitted that hitting and smashing the skull, as it was stated in some of the statements, would expose the brain membrane and the victim would have died instantly.
He said Yinu was alive for three months before he passed away.
He said there was evidence that the victim died as a result of an intervening disease – pneumonia.
Yinu was a Grade 11 student at the Salvation Army Koki Secondary School.