Islands News

Witnesses Testify in Court Over Rabaul Queen Disaster


By Edwin Fidelis – EM TV News, Kokopo

The court case involving those implicated in the Rabaul Queen incident resumed at 9:35am this morning after it was adjourned yesterday afternoon.

Present in the courtroom were Peter Sharp, his Rabaul Queen Captain, Anthony Tsiau, their lawyers and the state prosecutor.

The case was presided over by Justice Terrence Higgins.

Three witnesses were called to the stand to testify before the court in regard to the 2012 disaster.

Almost all of these witnesses lost family when the Rabaul Queen’sank. Max Maniot lost two teenage sons during the disaster.

Agnes Kaseveng lost her husband, and Sikstus Kinala lost his wife and 19-year-old daughter.

Justice Higgins yesterday reduced Sharp’s manslaughter charges from 172 to only 88, following a request from the Sharp’s councils.

The downgrading of charges relates to the number of passengers who were believed to have been on board the vessel.

Sharp was previously charged with a total of 172 counts of manslaughter.

The case has dragged into its third day, with more witnesses to be called into the courtroom to testify over the space of the coming days.

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