Soldier convicted of killing man in 2019 during drunken brawl

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INFLUENCE of alcohol is no excuse to commit crime, Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika says.
Sir Gibbs made the remarks in the National Court in Waigani yesterday when convicting PNG Defence Force soldier Andrew Bai for murdering a man in the Air Transport Squadron army barracks in Port Moresby in 2019.
“From all the evidence before the court, there is no doubt Bai had intended to cause grievous bodily harm and killed Robert Gai,” he added.
Sir Gibbs said the knife wounds and the swelling on Gai’s head were inflicted by Bai.There is no contradictory evidence that another person assaulted Gai with a bush knife and timber,” he said.
“Bai’s identity was not an issue.
“All the state witnesses in their statements identified Bai and said he was using a timber and bush knife in the fight.”
The court heard that about 1.30am on Sept16, 2019, Bai was drinking with some of his friends in the barracks compound.
Gai was also among them.
Bai, in one of their conversations, started complaining and argued with Gai which started a fight between them.
Bai then ran into the barracks and came out with three of his friends armed with timber planks and bush knives.
They chased Gai to the market.
Bai caught up with Gai and hit him several times on the head with a timber plank that had a nail in it, and the bush knife.
Gai was admitted at the Port Moresby General Hospital. But he later died on Oct 17, 2019 from the head injuries.
The case returns to court on Jan 27 for sentencing.

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