By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Waigani Committal Court has struck out the murder case involving six Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) soldiers, in relation to the death of a student in Port Moresby last year.
The ruling handed down by Magistrate John Kaumi was on the grounds that police investigation files were not ready on time.
It was disappointing news for the family of the late Jeremiah Yinu, who died after the six defendants allegedly beat him. The defendants are Francis Nasi, Jude Nidung, David Tappe, Kenneth Yangun, Tabias Samson, Gregory Tuaki and Alwin Matiabe. All are between the ages of 25 and 26.
It was alleged that a fight broke out between a group of students from Kilakila Secondary and the defendants on the morning of July 25 last year.
The court heard that the students were on their way to Kilakila Secondary for cultural day celebrations, when two of the soldiers approached them, and assaulted them.
That evening, the late Jeremiah Yinu, who was a student at Salvation Army Secondary, was mistaken for one of the Kilakila students and was badly assaulted by Francis Nasi and Jude Nidung, who were allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
The matter has been heard at the Waigani National Court since it was first mentioned in August 2015, and has been adjourned numerous times, until this morning.
All defendants were charged for one count of murder under the Criminal Code Act.
They were granted bail and have been attending court under the imposed bail conditions, until the case was struck out today.
However, this is not the end of the matter; if police discover new evidence, the defendants can be rearrested and charged.
But for now, all seven soldiers are free men and the charges against them have also been dropped, leaving family and friends of the late Jeremiah Yinu asking for justice.