Sharp may face full force of law

Main Stories, National

The Nationl, Monday 10th September, 2012

PUBLIC Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin said last week that the owner of Rabaul Shipping Peter Sharp will face the full force of the law if he is satisfied Sharp is guilty after perusing the inquiry report into the sinking of the Rabaul Queen.Kaluwin told the government’s chief secretary, Manasupe Zurenuoc, last Friday that possible criminal charges would be laid against Sharp.he Rabaul Queen sank on Feb 2 nine nautical miles off the
coast of Finschhafen in Morobe province with a loss of about 160 lives.
According to a report tabled by Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion in parliament last Wednesday, between 145 and 165 perished, many of whom were mothers and children.
“We must be prepared to look at this report because we have it now and its recommendations must be acted on as soon as possible,” Kaluwin said.
He told the chief secretary and Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Kauba that they would be working with police to prosecute and lay appropriate charges against Sharp.
Kauba also agreed to work with the public prosecutor after he had studied the report.
“I will follow through and take appropriate actions and work closely with the public prosecutor,” Kauba said. 
The chief secretary told the two men that the fate of Sharp would lie with police and the public prosecutor.
“It is up to the police to determine whether to charge Sharp and the master of the ship Rabaul Queen and the public prosecutor to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.
“Aside from any civil action that could be taken against Sharp and the master of the ship, the commission highlighted the possibility of criminal action,” Zurenuoc said.
“The criminal code provides that a person who unlawfully kills another may be guilty of manslaughter by criminal negligence.”