By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Eight of the twelve PNGDF soldiers, convicted for mutiny, told the Military Court at Bomana that they were affected by administrative issues within their Headquarters, in Port Moresby.
The convicted PNGDF soliders said, while they accept the court’s judgment, their deployment in Moro was one of the worst operations because they were denied incidental allowances, for over six months.
They made these submissions before Justice Panuel Mogish.
All of the convicted soldiers told the military court that they were sorry for their actions and asked the courts for leniency.
Major Benjamin Edimani, the soldier in charge of the Komo Operation was the first to speak.
“I say sorry to this court, to my soldiers and their families and I take full responsibility for the actions of my men,” Major Edimani said.
However, the Major said, in his experience as a military officer, he had come across an operation where there was no support from the Defence Force.
Similar sentiments were expressed by the other convicts.
The soldiers were charged for Mutiny in December 2015, after they failed to abort the operation in Komo, following directives from their commander to return to Port Moresby.
On June 1st, they were found guilty on two of the four mutiny charges.
The court refused their applications for bail to be granted after conviction and they were remanded at the Bomana jail.
Yesterday, their lawyer, Captain Dickson Wesley submitted that each soldier should be given less than three years imprisonment because their case was not the worst of mutiny cases compared to other mutiny cases in the history of the PNGDF.
However, lawyers representing the Defence Force objected to the submissions, stating that the soldiers were guilty and must be imprisoned for 25 years.
A judgment on their penalty will be handed down by Justice Mogish next week Friday.