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Verdict Set For Next Wednesday

By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby

A verdict for the thirteen PNGDF soldiers changed for mutiny will be handed down, next Wednesday.

Presiding Judge, Justice Panuel Mogish, will make the ruling based on the submissions presented in court, by lawyers representing the thirteen accused and the State.

The 21-day trial commenced on the second of this month and the ruling will make its closure.

This is the 17th day of the 21-day trial.

All 13 accused were present for the hearing at the Bomana District Court, this morning.

On May 9, the three lawyers representing the soldiers: Captains Dickson Wesley, Leslie Mamu and Edward Sasingian filed a No Case to Answer submission after state lawyers presented their evidences in court.

Justice Mogish then ruled that eight of the accused had cases to answer to on all four counts of mutiny, while the other five had either one or two counts to answer to.

The eight soldiers who have cases to answer to all counts include: Major Benjamin Edimani, Warrant officer, Scotty Kaule and Corporal Peter Perari.

The 13 PNGDF soldiers were charged on eight counts of Munity and Misconduct last December, after they failed to abort an operation in Southern Highlands, following directions from their Commander.

However, on the second week of trial, Justice Mogish struck out the Misconduct charge after ruling that the same sets of facts were used to charge the soldiers for mutiny.

The 13 soldiers justified their refusal to follow the command because they were not given their allowances for that operation.

Their bails have also been extended and the 13 will appear in court for the handing down of the verdict, next Wednesday.

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