Soldiers will stand trial over student’s death

Six PNGDF soldiers allegedly involved in the killing of Port Moresby student, Jeremiah Yinu, have been committed to stand trial at the Waigani National Court.

The District Court today ordered the committal of Jude Nidung, David Travolta, Gregory Tuaki, Alwin Matiabe, Tobias Samson and Kenneth Yangun, to the stand trial after it ruled on Oct 6 that it had sufficient evidence against them.

They returned to court with their lawyer today and told the court they wish to remain silent with regards to a section 96 statement. This statement is in response to the court’s ruling on the sufficiency of evidence. They will now defend the allegations against them in the National Court.

They will next appear at the National Court for listing, where a trial date will be set once all court documents are prepared.

It was alleged the soldiers were involved in a fight with students from the Kilakila Secondary School during a cultural show at the Coronation Primary School on July 25, 2015.

The fight resulted in the Grade 11 Salvation Army student, Jeremiah Yinu, being hospitalised after receiving life threatening injuries. Yinu succumbed to the injuries he sustained from the fight on Oct 7, 2015.

He died a month short of his 18th birthday.

The soldiers were arrested and first appeared at the District Court in Aug 2015. The case was struck out early in March this year because the police investigation files were not prepared and served within the required three months in court.

They were rearrested just before Easter in March and served those investigation files. All six accused remain on a bail of K5000.

Sally Pokiton