Men in jail for life loses appeal in murder case


THE Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by two men jailed for life for murder, saying the verdict of guilt by the trial judge was safe and satisfactory.
John Karo and Peter Ripo were convicted over the murder of a man at the Tete settlement in Gerehu, Port Moresby, in 2003.
They were among a group of five men who, in the early hours of Nov 6, 2003, broke into the house of Ian Liriope and his family.
Karo used a knife and a gun to kill Liriope. Ripo who was present did not do anything to stop him.
The decision of the three-man Supreme Court panel delivered by Justice David Cannings stated that none of the arguments made on behalf of the two accused persuaded the court that the “verdicts of guilty are unsafe or unsatisfactory”.
Justice Cannings said the trial judge relied on the evidence of the Liriope’s wife and daughter who were in the house when he was attacked.
They identified the two as among a group of five.
The two argued that there were errors of law by the trial judge to give effect to the presumption of innocence, and for failing to insist that the prosecution prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
They also argued that the trial judge failed to apply the principles regarding identification evidence, and that there were inconsistencies in the evidence of the State witnesses.
The two were represented by a fellow prisoner at Bomana jail, Tande Joseph.