Mass committal deferred again

National, Normal


THE mass committal of 65 Buang men on arson, wilful damage, rape and double murder against Labu Tale villagers was adjourned for a second time.
The case was adjourned to April 8 at the Lae district court.
In the wake of the adjournment, provincial police commander Supt Peter Guinness warned the Labus not to harm any Buangs.
Supt Guinness said several Buangs were threatened and beaten up early last week after the first adjournment.
Labu leaders were told that the court might be forced to hear the case in Bulolo if threats, intimidation or assaults continued.
Labu leaders have maintained their stand with Bulolo MP Sam Basil “to see full justice prevail” and denounced the possibility of moving the case to Bulolo.
Labu spokesman Aaron Aima said those involved in the assault of Buangs were mainly friends and former colleagues of the murdered victim Morris Lagaya, who was from New Ireland province.
Mr Lagaya was murdered along with his Labu wife Lakele, who was also believed to have been gang-raped.
Mr Aima said because of the harsh nature of the crimes against the couple, people who had close relations with them in different ways had seen it fit to take revenge in the public against the Buangs.
“We have worked well with the police and Bulolo MP Sam Basil since day one and the only thing we really want is real justice to prevail.
“Going up to Bulolo is not what we want,” he said.