Kidnapping case postponed for the last time, says judge

National, Normal

FOUR men charged with kidnapping two children and a babysitter for a K5 million ransom last year made a brief appearance in a Waigani Committal Court yesterday.
The hearing was adjourned to April 13 as the counsel for the four accused were not ready with the submissions.
The four are Tua Yangat Biori Siropon, 27, from Erap, Morobe province; Ate Nori Kofu, 32, from Lufa, Eastern Highlands province; Mage Yame, 24, from Okapa, Eastern Highlands province and Alex Diri, 32, from Irupe, Daru, Western province.
The men are charged with impersonation, kidnapping, armed robbery, rape and demanding ransom for their hostages.
Waigani senior magistrate Sinclaire Gora told the defence counsel that he would not allow any further adjournments after April 13.
The four accused, and two others still at large, posed as PNG Power employees and held up a family of nine in the residence of Nambawan Super Ltd chief executive Leon Buskin at 3-Mile, NCD, on May 30.
The kidnappers arrived in a stolen PNG Power vehicle claiming they were there to check the power meter box.
The kidnappers held the family members captive until 7.30pm when they took away Mr Busken’s 11-year-old daughter, her aunt, 28, and her three-year-old son.
While holding them as hostages, the kidnappers made several phone calls to Mr Busken demanding him to pay a ransom of K100,000 upfront and later K5 million for the safe release of his three family members.
The kidnappers had thought the sister-in-law of Mr Busken was his wife.
They took their hostages to various locations, including walking them over countryside hills from the 6-Mile Goilala settlement to the Morobe settlement along the Sogeri road.
During that time, two of the six took turns to rape Mr Busken’s sister-in-law.
The three were released after five days in captivity.