The National, Tuesday 15th November 2011
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
CATHERINE Mal, the woman accused of inciting a fight at the Madang market resulting in a death, has apologised to the court for changing her alibi.
She faces a charge of murder with her son, Emmanuel Ong, and her two nephews Lotivi and Moses Mal.
The four took the witness stand to give oral evidence.
State witnesses claimed that her son and nephews along with her younger brother Onnen, and other members of the Mal family were present during the fight at the four-mile junction on Friday Feb 28.
But the four denied having been physically in a fight in which Daga Nanas died.
Catherine denied inciting the fight by using the words “kilim em kilim em” (kill him, kill him).
Senior public prosecutor Anthony Kupmain asked why anyone would lie to the court about them using alleged weapons at that time of the murder of Daga Nanas.
But they denied having used any weapons or having any on
them at the time.
Catherine even denied ever using the words of incitement claiming that she had twice gone to Jomba Police station seeking help but no one was on duty. She said she gave K20 to an ununiformed policeman at a service station.
The court was told that the killing of Nanas happened after a series of long standing arguments and fights between the neighbouring household belonging to Kelly Sakel and his family and the Mal family over land.
Catherine said: “Coming from a family of all girls, my father had entrusted in me the duty of representing him in court over these issues and as such have been the vocal one and the one financially supporting the family in court.
“There is so much hatred between these two groups. There are always fights and arguments between us that sometimes stem from something rather than land disputes.”
Counsel for the accused, Mwawesi Mwagawa asked the court for an adjournment to today to call a witness who Catherine said was with her the whole time.
Mwagawa intends to call other witnesses before he closes his case this afternoon.