Mutiny soldiers’ bail converted to fine

The 12 PNG Defence Force soldiers who were put on a 2-year good behavior bond last Saturday had their bail monies of K1000 converted to their fine today in court.

They returned before Defence Force Judge Panuel Mogish, who converted their bail to the K1000 fine that he ordered each of them to pay.

It was brought before the attention of the court today that each of the soldiers actually paid K1,500 bail early this year.

The additional K500 paid was for one of the two guarantors who would ensure they adhere to their respective bail conditions. The other guarantor was the chaplain of the barracks chapel. He paid a total of K6000, that’s K500 each for the soldiers.

Justice Mogish said such arrangements should be avoided and people listed as guarantors must pay their own fines so they can feel the pinch of losing their monies when soldiers abscond bail.

He said he will issue directions to the department of finance to reimburse the K500.

They will return to court on Dec 8.

The Military Court on Nov 19 put all 12 on two years’ good behavior bond after it was of the view that a further custody would not be appropriate as the Government and PNGDF failed to sustain their operation in Moro. This sentencing came after they were found guilty of mutiny.

The court suspended all their imprisonment terms, ranging from three years to a year.

(Loop PNG file picture of the soldiers last Saturday.)

Sally Pokiton