By JULIA DAIA BORE
A 26-YEAR-old villager has been jailed for 30 years by the National Court in Madang after being found guilty of killing two brothers who were accused of sorcery.
Justice David Cannings jailed Seth Ujan Talil last Thursday for the Jan 19, 2006, wilful murder of Gunai Dodo, 42, and Gulali Dodo, 35, during a mediation gathering at Gonoa village in Madang district.
The court was told that Talil was in a group that violently attacked the brothers.
It heard that the cause of death in each case was haemorrhagic shock due to multiple knife and axe wounds.
The court heard that the Dodo brothers and three others were suspected of using sorcery to kill a young woman several months earlier.
It was proven at the trial that Talil had attacked one of alleged sorcerers (not the deceased) with a bush-knife, causing him life-threatening injuries and maiming him for life.
However, it was not proven beyond doubt that he had directly killed either of the brothers.
Cannings noted in jailing Talil that there was no evidence of reconciliation with the brothers’ relatives, forgiveness or other resolution of the problems he had created.
He said even though Talil might not have directly killed either Dodo brothers, he was, however, convicted of wilful murder by virtue of sections 7(1)(b) and 8 of the Criminal Code.
This section applied as it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that the offender was present at the scene and acted for the purpose of enabling and aiding others to wilfully murder the two brothers.
“He (Talil) encouraged and assisted in the deliberate killing of them.
“He was, therefore, deemed to have taken part in committing the two offences of wilful murder and to be guilty of them.”
Cannings said Talil was also convicted under section 8 as the offences were committed during the course of prosecuting an unlawful purpose in conjunction with others.
The prisoner, from Madang’s Bilia village, is the eldest of three brothers and one sister; with a Grade 10 education.
He spent a number of years in formal employment but in recent times has been engaged as a subsistence farmer.