Long jail terms for killers

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THREE men were jailed for life, and another for 25 years, as two judges strongly condemned the killing of people because of sorcery-related beliefs.
In the National Court in Port Moresby, Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, sentenced Saku Dove, 30, Skoke Kuruka, 28, and Damare Ipi, 28, to life imprisonment, saying wilful murder was the most serious of homicides.
The three had participated in a sorcery-related killing that claimed two lives in the National Capital District in 2016.
In the National Court in Lae, Justice Lawrence Kangwia, sentenced Gad Yakapous, 31, to 25 years in jail for a sorcery-related killing (see separate story).
Justice Sir Gibbs said such killings involved “not just merely taking the life of another person, but it is willed and intentional. Each of you played an equal role in the murders”.
“It is an arguable preposition to consider imposing the death penalty. However, I will not impose the death penalty in this case for reasons that their belief in sorcery may have resulted in what they did for the benefit of the community,” he said.
Dove, Kuruka and Ipi are all from Lufa’s Kunugu village in Eastern Highlands. They had entered a mourning house (hauskrai) in Badili’s Muniogo Block on Oct 17, 2016, and pulled Solomon Benny and Ine Benny out of the gate into the dark and killed them. They used bush knives to immobilise them and chopped them up.
They then wrapped up the bodies in canvas and left. Solomon and Ine were with the people of Kunugu village gathering to raise cash contributions from family, friends and relatives to send two of their deceased elders home to Goroka for burial. The elders had died two weeks earlier and their bodies were to be flown home.