Couple ask court to dismiss case

Lawyer representing a New Zealand man and his PNG partner who are standing trial over rape allegations have asked the Waigani National Court to dismiss their case.

At the close of the State’s evidence, lawyer representing Douglas Ross of Otahuhu, New Zealand and Stella Teha Pia of Hula, Central Province moved a no-case submission, asking the court to dismiss the allegations against them half way through the trial on the basis they have no case to answer to.

They moved the application asking trial Judge, Justice Panuel Mogish to dismiss the case saying the prosecution’s evidence presented in court through its witnesses, is not proof beyond reasonable doubt for them to respond to.

The State submitted that given the circumstances in the allegations, the two have a case to answer to and that the evidence provided by the State so far in the trial is enough.

Justice Mogish adjourned his ruling on the application to next Wednesday.

The accused are standing trial on the charge of aggravated rape, a charge under section 347 of the Criminal Code Act.

It is the State’s allegation that they sexually assaulted a Joselyn Pakure between  August  1 and 2, 2015 at their home at Boroko after they invited her and other friends over for a gathering that night.  

It is alleged the victim did not consent to engage in sexual activities with the couple and she was raped while she was disoriented.

This allegedly took place after she was given alcohol by the two accused.

A formal report was made with police by Pakure a month after the alleged incident. Ross and Pia were arrested on November 5, 2015.

The court however was told that she kept communication with the two after the incident before lodging the report with police.



Sally Pokiton