The court found there was sufficient evidence after the Prosecution’s submission. The court then committed the accused to stand trial in the next National Court sitting. The date and time are yet to be fixed.
The accused, who are all from Likum village in the Pobuma LLG, are Robin Robbilo Micah, aged 39, Graham Floyd Peter, aged 29, and Boas Nathan, aged 32.
They were charged for the following offences:
- Break-and-enter with intent to commit a crime
- 10 counts of wilful murder
Police alleged that in the early hours of September 22nd, 2017, the three accused broke into the Splendid Supermarket in Lorengau town and wilfully murdered the 10 Chinese nationals and set the building on fire.
They allegedly stole goods from the supermarket and fled to a waiting dinghy.
Manus Provincial Police Commander, Chief Inspector David Yapu, said upon his request, the CID team from Port Moresby conducted the preliminary investigations but had to return to Port Moresby due to lack of funds.
The investigation was halted without any follow ups, leaving the international community and people of Manus in suspense.
The Manus Governor, Charlie Benjamin, raised the issue on the floor of Parliament in 2019, where the Police Minister responded and directed the case to be reopened.
On the 17th of October, 2019, another new team of CID investigators, led by Chief Sergeant Abraham Hualupmomi, travelled to Manus and pursued the investigation, which resulted in the arrest of the three men.
PPC Yapu commended the investigation team from Port Moresby, including the local CID members, for their tremendous efforts, time, dedication and commitment.
Yapu further thanked the Manus Provincial Government and Administration for assisting with funding.