Decision on death of Enga man next month

The Waigani National Court is expected to make its ruling soon on a murder case involving three men who allegedly killed their own relative in Port Moresby on Feb 22, 2015.

Jeffery Pitu, Jacob Lais and Newman Upas, from Wapenamanda District, were in court on Friday where submissions were made to assist the court reach a verdict.

Their lawyer submitted that Matthew Masket died as a result of the impact of the car crash at the tunnel between Stop N Shop and the RSPCA clinic.

The lawyer said the State’s evidence against the three is circumstantial or indirect evidence, which does not show that they are responsible for Masket’s murder.

He said the three demonstrated they did not cause any harm to the deceased and he died as a result of the car crash however, the State alleges that Masket was killed earlier and the accident was planned to cover-up the murder.

Upas was the driver of the vehicle and the deceased sat offside while the other two were asleep in the car at the time of the accident.

Two medical reports were brought before the court. One was from a pathologist who examined the body of the deceased three days after he died. His report was relied on by the defense.

The other medical report was done from examination from photographs of the body and the crash site. This evidence was relied on by the State.

State had a total of 12 witnesses during the trial and maintained that he was murdered prior to accident.

On February 21, 2015, the deceased (Masket) was seen drinking alcohol with the defendants at Sabama in Port Moresby until 2am the next day, Feb 22, 2015.

They left the area in the defendant’s vehicle and it was later seen at the Kilakila playing field at 3am. It crashed at 4pm at Waigani.

The left arm of the deceased was found at the entrance of the Waigani Tunnel while his body was in the car that ended up near the fence of the RSPCA clinic. The two fled the scene of the crash while one of them was caught by security guards of RSPCA.

Witnesses who were at the crash site discovered the deceased’s body in the vehicle.

Two others, who were also alleged to be involved in the murder case, Kaitas Michael and Steven Sikin, were acquitted by the court after their lawyer made a submission that they had no case to answer to due to lack of evidence.

Sally Pokiton