After the adjournment of his trial on August 11, Captain Sharp applied for bail variation due to a medical condition that he has, one that requires regular check up. For that same reason, he also asked for his passport to be released so he could travel abroad.
Justice Terrence Higgins allowed Sharp to travel after he sought leave of the court to vary his bail conditions. Sharp left the country on Sunday and is expected to return before September 5th.
Documents produced by the National Court in Kokopo, East New Britain, show that in the initial part of the trial, Peter Robert Sharp of UK, Anthony Matasir Tsiau of Buka, Grace Amen of Kokopo and Michael Zirau of Madang, were committed to stand trial for charges of manslaughter. This was under section 302 of the Criminal Code Act and another charge for sending an unworthy ship to sea, under section 331 of the Criminal Code Act.
With trials commencing last year on April 11, the National Court in Kokopo has dropped charges against Michael Zirau whilst the Rabaul Shipping manageress, Amen, will stand trial before another judge after Sharp and the captain of the MV Rabaul Queen, Tsiau, are tried.
So far, the state has called 83 witnesses to give evidences and has also presented 52 documents as evidences against Sharp.