Lack of evidence sees case dismissed

Evidence is important in determining allegations before the court and one case of sexual assault involving a minor was dismissed because there was no proper evidence in the victim’s translated statement.

The Waigani Committal Court on Tuesday dismissed a case involving a man from the Madang province who allegedly sexually touched a minor while he was under the influence of alcohol.

His identity is withheld due to the age of the victim.

The alleged incident took place at a street market where the man met the four year old girl and her uncle at Hohola in Port Moresby on the evening of August 6 last year.

The victim’s statement was given to court in two sentences however there was no translation clause or indication as to who wrote the statement on behalf of the victim and what language she spoke in before her story was translated.

The translation clause is a vital piece of evidence with statements written on behalf of victims in any case.

He allegedly touched her through her clothes after he put her on his lap. The uncle who took her to the market is said to be deaf and dumb.

“It’s one thing to arrest and charge someone but it’s another thing to come up with evidence to support the charge,” Magistrate Cosmas Bidar said when giving his ruling.

In this case he said the main witness was the victim who is four years old. Her statement was written in English but there was no indication of a translation clause.

“I was with my big daddy at the market and one uncle touched me on my punana. It was paining,” was her statement in court.” Her statement was without a translation clause.

The magistrate said when getting evidence from a child witness, care must be taken to take into consideration these because they are usually serious allegations.

Medical report by a doctor on examination said after reading the medical report ruled out sexual penetration.

The court was of the view that despite some evidence in place, it was not sufficient enough to put her case to the National Court for trial because the translation clause was not there.

 The defendant’s case was dismissed and the court ordered a refund of his bail money.

Sally Pokiton