Soldier guilty of manslaughter

National, Normal


THE National Court last Friday convicted a soldier for the unlawful killing of another man at Kanage Street, 6-Mile, in 2008, but was found not guilty on the charge of murder.
John Becko Naipao, from Kamas village in Enga, was found guilty of unlawfully killing George Kolap on May 24, 2008.
The court heard that on the morning of  May 24, 2008, the accused drove his vehicle to the Hohola Tyre Service to repair one of the tyres.
 The court was told that Naipao, Kolap and a Robert Waikale were together that day in Naipao’s vehicle which Waikale was driving.
Naipao, who was asleep in the back seat and woke up, got out of the vehicle and started punching Waikale several times before taking out a bayonet and stabbing Kolap, the court heard.
It was told Naipao then removed the body from the vehicle and drove off.
When charged with Kolap’s murder, his defence was that of general denial and that the accident caused the death.
The court heard that he had died from a stab wound to the upper abdomen, near the chest.
The evidence before the court showed that at the time of death, Kolap and Naipao were the only two people involved in the struggle.
Naipao was told that even if he did not stab Kolap, he was responsible for the death he had pushed him, causing him to fall onto the knife.
“If the first option is accepted in the court, he will be guilty of murder.
“If the second option is accepted he will be guilty of unlawful killing.
“In this case, I will accept the option most favourable to him.
“ I accordingly, find him guilty of unlawful killing,” Justice Gibbs Salika said in his ruling.