In court for arson

Lae News, Normal


TWO men stood trial at the National Court for wilfully and unlawfully burning down six houses at Kapiak Street in 2006.
Peter Gilgil Angara, 30, and Kaupa Moore Yanu in his 50s, both from Kamatai,  Simbu province, were each charged with six counts of arson.
They appeared before Justice Sao Gabi yesterday and both pleaded not guilty to all charges.
On Aug 5 and 6, 2006, both accused were at Kapiak Street,  the State alleged.
The State also alleged during that time trouble had flared between the Simbus and the Kabwums of Morobe province.
This led to the killing of a Simbu man by the Kabwums.
The Simbus mobilised and retaliated by killing a Kabwum man.
During that time, the two accused and other accomplices went and burnt down six houses at Kapiak Street.
They were armed with a  shot-gun and used threats of violence to force the victims out their homes before setting the houses alight.
All houses were burnt to the ground.
Angara was on Tuesday sentenced to life in prison for premeditated murder.
The houses belonged to Simon Makuku, Oka Pinim, Windy Kaliong, Bonny Sosa Gunzie, Robert Koliong and Bonnie Zomie.
The total value of the houses is K291,931.
One of the house owners, Mr Makuku, was brought in as the first State witness.
He testified that he was at his house with his wife and child when Angara and another person, one Joel Tomo, broke into
his house.
Mr Makuku said they went in, chased them out, while Angara poured kerosene on one of the mattress and set the house on fire.
He also told the court that he knew Angara for eight years because they were all residing at Kapiak Street.
Mr Makuku told the court that he did not know the other accused.
But he identified and pointed Angara out in the accused’s dock.
The trial continues this morning with cross-examination from the defence lawyer.