Lawyers representing former Miss PNG, late Ruby-Anne Laufa, have presented their submissions on verdict based on speeding, intoxication and assault – the three main grounds the state suggests that led to the death of the former law graduate in 2017.
However, it is the defence’s position that the state failed to prove during the trial that their client, Richard Namaliu, had failed to perform duty of care, an important ground in relation to the charges and allegations against Namaliu, which will determine his verdict.
For speeding – the state submitted that the witnesses provide evidence that the accused, 28-year-old Namaliu, was seen driving at a speed higher than the normal speed required within the residential area at Fort Banner.
For intoxication – the state submitted that Namaliu had consumed alcohol and he had not had enough sleep the night before he picked up late Ruby-Anne. The state identified contradictions as to the number of glasses of whisky Namaliu had consumed hours before picking up the former beauty queen in 2017.
The state pointed out that in the initial police statement, Namaliu wrote that he drank two glasses of whisky but during the cross examination, Namaliu said he only took one glass.
For assault – it is the state’s position that more than two witnesses had testified that they saw Namaliu assaulted the late Ruby-Anne between her former residence and the main gate leading into Fort Banner.
Defending the accused, his lawyers objected to the three grounds saying there was no evidence that proved there was criminal negligence and the court must rule that Namaliu is not guilty.
Criminal negligence is a charge under the Papua New Guinea Criminal Code Act relating to reckless actions without caution and putting another person’s life at risk of being injured or killed.
But until the court makes a ruling, Namaliu’s bail has been extended and he remains innocent until proven guilty by the court.
The late Ruby-Anne died in February 2017 from injuries she sustained when she fell out of a car Namaliu was driving at UPNG.
By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby