​25 years for former diplomat’s murderer

The man who murdered a former diplomat inside his office at the Department of Foreign Affairs, in 2014, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The Waigani National Court on Monday sentenced Southern Highlands man, Billy Sapsi Pokea of Suma village, to 25 years after he was found guilty on May 11.

His conviction came after a trial was conducted by Justice Nicholas Kirriwom at Waigani.

Pokea was responsible for the brutal murder of the late Dennis Taylor Bebego on July 5, 2014.

The court ordered for his transfer to Mendi where he will serve time. He has been in custody since his arrest.

Two years, 11 months and 23 days will be deducted from his head sentence. He now has 22 years and seven days to serve.

Justice Kirriwom issued a further order for the prison management, either at Bomana or Mendi, to ensure Pokea visits the nearest hospital regularly or once a month to receive his medical treatment.

This order was issued due to his medical condition.

Pokea was convicted on May 11 over the murder of Bebego after he conducted a trial against him and was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he attacked Bebego with a busk knife with intentions to kill him.

Bebego’s body was found lying in a pool of blood in his own office on July 5, 2014, at the Department of Foreign Affairs office at Waigani after a scuffle with Pokea.

The court refused to accept the evidence Pokea told the court during the trial simply because he gave a detailed account of what transpired on July 5, 2014, during a recorded interview with police five days after the offence was committed.

During the trial, Pokea told the court that he was under intense duress in police custody after he was picked up on July 10, 2014, and was forced to sign a document, which was the record of interview, without knowledge of its content.

He also told the court he was framed by the police and Foreign Affairs staff over Bebego’s death. The court ruled otherwise.

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Sally Pokiton