Students in court

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The National,Monday July 4th, 2016

 By PETER WARI in Mendi and 

THREE university students have appeared in court charged with the killing of a fellow student in his dormitory at the University of Technology in Lae nine days ago.
Lawrence Simon, 22, from Sakales village in Wabag, Enga; Lorry Paul, 22, from Lanakep village in Wabag, Enga; and Gideon Luio, 21, from Kaikin village in Wapenamanda, Enga, allegedly killed Graham Romanong at around 10pm on Saturday, June 25, at the Unitech campus. He was from Mendi in Southern Highlands.
Lae District Court Magistrate Jeremiah Singomat ruled that the three would be remanded in custody until July 15 when their case would return to court. He told them that their case would be referred to the National Court.
He advised them to seek the service of a lawyer to apply for their bail in the National Court.
Romanong was a first-year Surveying and Lands Studies student. He had just returned from Mendi on the day he died. He went home following a fight among students from the highland provinces at the Unitech campus.
Last Saturday, people from Southern Highlands and Hela packed the Momei Oval in Mendi for his funeral service.
People covered in clay as a sign of mourning marched from Mendi airport to the oval.
Southern Highlands Governor William Powi, Imbonggu MP Francis Awesa, Nipa-Kutubu MP Jeffery Komal, Mendi-Munihu MP De Kewanu, Kagua-Erave MP James Lagea, students from Unitech and University of Papua New Guinea joined the relatives during the march.
Funeral service organising chairman Warren Temokang gave Awesa a petition from the relatives to pass on to the State.
The petition includes:

  • K10 million to be paid to the relatives by the State;
  • Sacking and deportation of Unitech vice-chancellor Albert Schram;
  • Sacking of the Lae police metropolitan superintendent;
  • K5 million and 200 pigs to be paid by Opposition leader Don Polye;
  • K1 million to be paid by the Unitech administration;
  • The sacking of Unitech security company Uniforce Security;
  • K2 million and 500 pigs to be paid to the relatives by the Enga government.

Powi and Awesa, after receiving the petition, said they would pass it on to the Government.
Awesa said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill could not attend the funeral service because he had other commitments.
Assistant Police commissioner (western end) Chief Supt Mark Yangen thanked the relatives for maintaining law and order since the killing.
“People say Southern Highlanders have an attitude problem, but we do not. We are a peace-loving people,” he said.