Submissions Decision Adjourned for 13 PNGDF Soldiers

By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby

The decision on a no case submission involving the thirteen Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) soldiers, who were charged for mutiny, will be handed down tomorrow morning.

This follows an application filed by lawyers representing the accused.

Justice Panuel Mogish adjourned the decision to tomorrow, on the grounds that there were over 20 documents that he has to go through before a ruling can be made. The matter was heard at the Bomana District Court today.

The 21-day trial began last Monday, until a no case submission was filed yesterday.

The filing of the no case submission means the 13 soldiers are asking the court to find them not guilty because of the lack of evidence presented so far by state lawyers.

All 13 soldiers were arrested and charged with eight counts of mutiny and misconduct in December 2015.

The charges came after they failed to abort an operation in Hela, Southern Highlands following directions from their superiors.

On March 15 this year the 13 accused were granted K2,500 under strict conditions by Justice Allan David from the Waigani National Court.

Last week, Judge Mogish withdrew the four counts of misconduct against all 13, because the same set of facts were used in the mutiny charge.

The 13 will return tomorrow to hear the outcome of their no case submission. If the court rules in their favour, the mutiny charges will be dropped. But if the court refuses the submission, the trial will continue until a final decision is reached.

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