By ELIAS LARI
A MAN and two others accused of killing his wife and trying to hide her body have been freed as there was insufficient evidence to commit them to a trial.
Mt Hagen District Court Magistrate Leonard Mesmin struck out the wilful murder charges against Dr Simon Temo, 40, Ken Paul, 27, and Nombre Kasu, 42, because he said the witnesses had failed to provide the evidence and facts of the alleged killing during the committal hearing.
The three are all from Mopa village in the Karinz local level government, Mendi-Munihu electorate.
Temo’s late wife Imelda Tupi Tiamanda, 28, was from Longo village in Mendi.
Magistrate Mesmin said not only did the witnesses fail to provide evidence and facts of the alleged killing, but also the post-mortem report submitted to the court had not been signed by a doctor.
“It is necessary that the evidence must, to some extent, establish the fundamental elements of the charges,” he said.
“My role as the committal court magistrate is to investigate the strength of the case. (I) have assessed the evidence in its whole and found out that there is insufficient evidence on the essential elements of the charge of the wilful murder.”
The court was told that on Sunday, May 9, Temo and Imelda had an argument.
He allegedly hit her with a blunt object, fracturing her skull which resulted in her death at Mopa village.
Police alleged that on the next day, Temo, Ken and Kasu wrapped her body and placed it inside Temo’s vehicle, intending to dump it somewhere.
They were driving to Mt Hagen when they were arrested by police at the Wara Kagul checkpoint in Western Highlands, who found Imelda’s body in the vehicle.
There was also a spade, bush knife and a pistol with eight live rounds in the vehicle.
Police also alleged that Temo had offered K100,000 each to the two policemen who had arrested them. They refused. The three were charged and detained at the Baisu jail.
Magistrate Mesmin ordered that they be discharged.
Meanwhile Tupi Tiamanda, the father of the late Imelda, said outside court that he would appeal the court decision. “Whatever it may take, this matter will not go unchallenged.”
By ELIAS LARI