By GABRIEL FITO
THE National Court in Wewak has sentenced a young man to life imprisonment for wilful murder, marking the first prisoner in the province to receive the court’s maximum penalty for serious crimes.
Acting National Court Judge Regina Sagu handed down the sentence last week for Boas Kapai who was found guilty by the same court in April 2009 for the shooting death of Deon Wakole of Bangus village, Ambunti on October 20, 2004.
Three of his accomplices-James Mangego, Livai Asong and Lesta Livai who acted with him in committing the death-received 25 years each minus two years and five months they spent in custody.
All four convicted prisoners are also from Bangus village.
The court heard that between 8am and 9am of Oct 20, 2004, the deceased, his wife Linda and his brother Joshua were walking to their vanilla garden to pollinate the beans when they were ambushed by the four men who were hiding near a cocoa garden along the road they were taking.
The deceased’s wife Linda and his brother Joshua gave testimonies of what transpired on that fateful day which the court upheld as their evidences clearly identified the suspect who fired the fatal gunshot and his three accomplice.
Justice Sagu said she believed the State witness’s story because there was nothing that hid the suspects when they let go the bent tree branch after the ambush and tried to escape into hiding.
The court also believed that being a relative, Boas, who fired the fatal gunshot, was well known to the State witnesses who testified that there have been several land disputes between them and Boas’s family in the past.
Meanwhile, the same court had also convicted and sentenced Ronald Ulugama and Thompson Weikim of Bonohitom village, west Yangoru last week to 25 years each in prison with hard labour for the murder of George Aimo on Jan 16, 2007.
The prisoners would serve the balance of 25 years reduced from the two years, five months and 15 days they spent in custody at Boram prison.