Prosecutor argues for hearsay evidence in murder trial


By Alphonse Porau
The court has the power and authority to deal with hearsay evidence, police prosecutor Joseph Sangam says.
He was speaking at the Waigani Committal Court when refuting submissions by a lawyer representing a Richard Namaliu which said the evidence relied on by police was hearsay.
Namaliu was charged with the murder of a woman by the name of Ruby Laufa early this year.
Sangam told Magistrate Cosmas Bidar that there were about six instances where the court could apply exception to the hearsay rule.
He said among those was the rule of rest jester, meaning everything, including verbal statements or anything during the processes of an offence.
“In this case, there is no hearsay evidence on file, meaning that the rule of rest jester should be considered and it is an exception,” Sangam said.
Lawyer Rarua Puka, of Henao Lawyers ,submitted four grounds of the insufficiency of evidence and asked for the case to be dismissed.
He submitted that:

  • Most of the evidence relied on by police that the defendant had a motive to murder the victim was hearsay;
  • There was no direct substantial circumstantial prima facie evidence in the brief to prove or even suggest that the accused murdered the victim;
  • The post-mortem confirming the death of the victim as a result of beating and assaulting and eventually being pushed off the vehicle while the attacker was driving was scandalous and vexation allegation and it was physically and practically impossible; and
  • The homicide did not see that as a murder case and referred it to traffic for investigation but it was at the behest of the victim’s father that the more serious charge was enforced.

Sangam submitted that all evidence in the hand-up brief showed the defendant assaulted the victim and it was his negligence that caused Laufa’s death.
“The defendant is saying it was an accident but the police are saying that it was the defendant’s negligence that caused the outcomes,” Sangam said.
“The defendant at that time was in-charge of the dangerous item and that is a car. If such has happened, the defendant should have taken care or stopped and allowed the victim to leave the vehicle. That did not occur. That is the reason why we say there is a prima facie case established.”
Bidar adjourned that case to Dec 12 for ruling, with bail being extended.