No case to answer in murder charge

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The National, Tuesday 11th June 2013

 THE Kokopo National Court last Thursday dismissed a murder charge against a young man after the State failed to establish the essential elements of the charge.

Texas Winual pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Documents tendered in court as state evidence in an affidavit by the doctor who conducted a post-mortem and a record of interview.

State counsel submitted there were no witnesses to call and closed the prosecution case.

Counsel for the accused made a submission of no case to answer and based her argument on the issue that the State had not established the essential elements of the murder charge.

Justice Salatiel Lenalia said the law on a submission of no case to answer had been briefly stated in many cases in this jurisdiction.

“The idea is that only cases with evidence on merit should go past this stage of the trial,” Lenalia said.

“This is to say in cases where the prosecution has proven all or some of the elements of the charge which, if the court accepts, will go toward a lawful conviction of an accused person,” Lenalia said.

After going through the State evidence, Lenalia said the reason why the accused was at the scene was to stop a fight and rescue the deceased who was being assaulted by other students.

“There is no evidence of essential elements of the charge of having any intention to cause grievous bodily harm,” he said.

“There is even no evidence of participation from which the court could conclude if there was a case to answer.”

Lenalia upheld that there was no case to answer and dismissed the case and released the accused from custody.