By JULIA DAIA BORE
ETHNIC clashes throughout Papua New Guinea must end for the good of the country, Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika said.
“Ethnic clashes must not be allowed to flourish any more in our society today, be it in a rural or urban setting.
“The days of cannibalism are gone.
“We must now get rid of this ethnic or group violence. It has no place in our modern PNG,” he said.
Justice Salika said ensuring there are no ethnic clashes resulting in payback killings would be in the “best interest of the communities we live in and in the best interest
of the country”, particularly in light of the increasing high profile investment development taking place in PNG.
Justice Salika made this comments while sentencing three Tari men convicted of the willful murders of six Goilalas living at the Tete Settlement in Gerehu in 2003.
Of the six murdered, one was a child aged five.
“This is a bad case of revenge killing of five innocent men and a harmless child who had done no wrong.”
Justice Salika jailed Ape Apako and Awi Moizali for life, and Peter Obe for 30 years after finding them guilty of six counts of willful murder, pursuant to section 299 of the Criminal Code Act.
The men were charged from an incident that occurred at the Tete Settlement on June 26, 2003.
A Tari man Tom Marabe was found dead in a drain at Gerehu.
The Taris’ suspected the Goilalas for being responsible for his death, and launched a raid at the Tete Settlement in a payback attack.
The court found that Apako was involved in killing two people Brian Keru and Max Keru, a child; while Moizali killed Philip Dioro, and Obe aided in the murders.
Justice Salika said this crime was a payback killing of the worst type.
“The Taris’ became the investigators, the prosecutors, the judge and the jury.
“How they found Max Brian, a very young male child of five to seven years old guilty of the murder of Marabe is beyond me.”
“I am convinced that this type of killing is far worse.
“This was a revenge killing.
The men were armed with knives, axes, stones, iron bars and what they could find to use as weapons.
“The men set themselves on a deliberate destruction mode to which they excelled taking six innocent lives with them.
“They were chopped to their instant deaths despite please to save them.
“There was a common intention to kill and that common intention was executed.
“With respect I consider this case to be among the worst type of willful murder cases,” Justice Salika said.
Initially, 12 Tari men were charged but after the State cases were heard, nine of the men were acquitted following successful no case submissions.