Ferry trial adjourned to Aug 1

The National,Tuesday June 28th, 2016

THE mv Rabaul Queen ferry trial has been adjourned to Aug 1 as the presiding judge will be away.
Justice Terrence Higgins will be in Port Moresby for Supreme Court sessions at Waigani for about a month.
He has been presiding the trial that heard witnesses over the last two weeks at the Kokopo National Court.
The adjournment was made on Friday. On trial among others are the ferry’s owner Captain Peter Sharp and Captain Anthony Tsiau, the ferry’s captain at the time of the disaster in 2012.
Both are facing 172 counts of manslaughter and for sending and taking an unseaworthy vessel out to sea.
Since June 14 when the trial had resumed, 26 witnesses, including survivors, weather men and officials from the National Maritime Safety Authority and Coastal Radio Station, had given evidence.
Some witnesses had travelled from West New Britain and Kimbe.
NMSA made travel arrangements for their employees to travel to Kokopo.
Last week, defence lawyers raised concern that most of the witnesses called in to testify were not on the original list.
However, Higgins said that did not affect the indictment on the two accused.
The defence also highlighted that the State seemed to be conducting investigations and running a trial at the same time.
However, Higgins said the defence should not be taken by surprise as they could assess and still argue their case as the trial proceeded.
The ferry sank off Finschhafen, Morobe, on Feb 2, 2012.
It was revealed that 350 people were on board.