Man who ‘ate’ infant on trial

Main Stories, National

The National, Thursday, May 12, 2011

A MAN who killed his nine-day-old baby by eating it alive has been committed to stand trial in the National Court in Waigani.
The ruling was made yesterday at the Committal Court in Waigani after the matter was transferred from Kiunga where the accused was arrested and charged with wilful murder.
Rex Paijawi, 35, from Purani village in Tari, Southern Highlands, had allegedly bitten off the infant’s head on Feb 3 at Wanbin settlement in Tabubil, Western.
Provincial police commander Peter Philip and magistrate Patrick Monouluk arrived from Kiunga with the accused on Tuesday.
Police reports said the crime was linked to witchcraft and cannibalism.
Paijawi did not have legal representation in court. He was handcuffed when brought to court for his hearing and taken under police escort to Bomana prison to await his trial.
Monouluk said Paijawi had been transferred to Bomana for his own safety as well as the safety of other inmates at the Nigerum jail in Kiunga.
The court heard Paijawi had tried to bite another inmate there, causing retaliatory action from the other inmates.
The manner in which Paijawi had eaten the baby in public view sent shivers running down the spines of the communities in Kiunga and Tabubil.
There were photographs taken and circulated via email showing the accused in possession of the half-eaten corpse.
Philip said many people had been wondering what happened to the accused, and the trial in the National Court proved that the legal system had taken its course.
Paijawi will be remanded in the maximum security unit in Bomana while awaiting trial.
People jammed the Waigani courtroom premises to get a glimpse of the accused.
And, many cringed with fright when Paijawi stared directly at them.