Largest criminal class action to be reviewed

Leave has been allowed by the Supreme Court for a review into the country’s largest criminal class action appeal from the 2014 Madang sorcery-related killings.

89 men who were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Madang National Court on 24 July will have their sentence reviewed.

These 89 were part of a group who attacked people they believed of practicing sorcery, in Sakiko village, near Ramu, in the belief of cleansing the community.

That incident also saw eight, who were directly involved in the wilful murder of seven men, including two boys, aged five and three years old, given the death penalty.

Doni Kakiwi and 88 others who received life sentences filed an application seeking leave to review their sentence.

Last week the Supreme Court granted leave, allowing that review to go before a full Supreme Court bench, which will be heard at a later date.

There is an arguable case meriting review of the decisions of the primary judge on conviction and sentence because of the circumstantial evidence before the court.

The 8 prisoners on death penalty will also be pursuing a similar application in the high courts.

Sally Pokiton