Ex-soldier wants mutiny case recalled

Lae News, Normal

The National – Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A FORMER soldier says the investigation into the mutiny at Moem Barracks, East Sepik, in March 2002 was a farce.
He said the high profile investigation which was headed by a law academic and former military officer failed to reveal the cause and the instigators.
It is understood that there was a court-martial and later a trial in the National Court in which nine soldiers were jailed for varying terms from two to 15 years.
The uprising left the communication centre and a double-storey building razed.
“The armoury was also broken into and weapons seized,” one of the nine jailed soldiers said.
He said yesterday in Lae that the “root cause and the real instigators were not revealed”.
He had appealed to the Ombudsmen Commission and attorney-general to revive and investigate “fairly and bring all responsible people to justice for a hearing and re-trial”.
“This issue is far from over because the National and Supreme Court failed to analyse the scene and investigate deeply.”
He said the jailed men were scapegoats.
“The real criminals were never punished by the law because the people they were acting for – politicians and bureaucrats – had used their influence to divert justice,” he said.
He said the cause of the mutiny was to support colleagues at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby to call for Sir Mekere Morauta to resign as prime minister.
“The burning of the buildings were a result of their demand not being met.”
“The demand was being pushed by a political leader. I will reveal all if there is an investigation or a re-trial.”
The soldier said he had lost all his entitlements since being jailed in 2002.