By Theckla Gunga – EMTV Port Moresby
Justice Allan David this afternoon, adjourned the bail applications for the 11 soldiers detained at the military cells at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby to Monday, 11 January 2016.
The soldiers, all over 40 years old were brought into the city from Komo, in Hela province, following allegations of misconduct while on operations.
These soldiers have ranks of Sergeant, Corporal and warrant officers.
The bail applications filed by lawyers representing the members of the PNG Defence Force, were based on four grounds.
They include the number of months the soldiers were away from their families, which is over 64 weeks; the holding cells were too crowded and cannot accommodate over 10 men; and all were fathers and sole breadwinners.
However, the lawyer presenting the State objected the grounds, arguing that the applicants were asked to withdraw from the Komo operations but did not follow instructions. The allegations made against them were serious and despite the soldiers detained at the holding cell, they were still able to enjoy privileges which persons in a normal police custody may not.
These privileges include having access to family visits, phones and three meals in a day.
After listening to arguments presented by the four commissioned lawyers, for almost three hours, Judge David adjourned the applications to 9:30am on Monday 11th January.
The 11 were formally charged on 31December 2015 for misconduct while on duty.
And with the bail application to be decided on Monday, the 11 will remain at the holding cell two more nights.