The judge presiding over the Ruby-Anne Laufa trial today visited the site where the alleged killing took place at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Justice Theresa Berrigan was accompanied by lawyers of the state and Richard Namaliu who is facing manslaughter charges.
The visit is expected to give all parties a better understanding of what happened on the morning of 11th of February 2017.
Yesterday, the National Court in Port Moresby completed the trial. Nine witnesses, including Ruby-Anne’s father, the pathologist who conducted her autopsy, and the two security guards who were on duty at the time of the incident, testified in court.
Namaliu’s lawyers opened their case with their only witness, the accused, who told the court that he had waited three years to tell his side of the story.
Namaliu recounted his one year and three month relationship with Ruby-Anne which began in November 2015, and ended with her death in 2017.
According to Namaliu’s testimony, he had driven to Ruby-Anne’s parent’s house on the morning of 11th February 2017. From there, he was going to take her to the Legal Training Institute.
“When I arrived at Ruby’s house, I heard Mr. Laufa telling late Ruby-Anne that she was an embarrassment to the family and needed to go check LTI and if her name was not on the list, she would be kicked out of the house,” Namaliu told the courts.
He said when Ruby entered the vehicle, there was an awkward silence when they drove from the house to the Fort Banner gate.
He also denied assaulting her as recounted by the four other witnesses in their statements.
“Ruby asked me when I activated my Facebook account, and I told her I needed to be on Facebook because of my business, and she just blew up,” Namaliu said.
He went on further to say that Ruby-Anne started kicking the steering wheel when they were approaching the gate at Fort Banner, and according to Namaliu, she unbuckled her seat-belt and tried to take control of the steering wheel.
“That was when I got angry and I elbowed her in her face and she fell back into her seat. When we approached the bend, Ruby said she could not take it anymore and she unlocked the door and ‘jumped out.’”
At the start of the trial last Wednesday, Namaliu pleaded not guilty.
Ruby-Anne died from head injuries. It has been two and a half years since her death. Richard Namaliu’s bail has been extended until the matter returns to court on November 5th.