POST-MORTEM REPORTS IN PNG CANNIBAL CASE WITHHELD

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By Metahera Lahari

MADANG, Papua New Guinea (February 29, 2000 – The National)---Madang police yesterday said the post-mortem reports on two bodies in a remote village in the province were not released and reports of cannibalism could not be established.

(See related story at http://pidp.ewc.hawaii.edu/PIReport/2000/February/02-07-04.htm

Provincial police commander Superintendent Ben Simanjon said that the post-mortems were conducted by an investigation team that flew into the area when the report of a cannibalistic act surfaced last month.

The claims of cannibalism were reported to Mr. Simanjon, who relayed the information to The National.

According to that report, two men were alleged to have argued and in the heat of the argument, they attacked each other.

Mr. Simanjon was informed that in the fight, one of the men killed the other and ate body parts of his victim.

He said the investigation team, which included a doctor, together with the CID, flew into the area by helicopter to conduct their investigation into the incident.

"I do not have the results of the post-mortem that was done at the site of the incident," Mr. Simanjon said.

He said, three people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile, sources in Madang said the man involved in the alleged act of cannibalism was said to be mentally unstable.

The sources said the report on the act of cannibalism was not true.

"At the time of the incident, the second victim, who police in Madang claim ate body parts of his victim after he had killed him, was mentally unstable," he said.

He said, the second victim had slashed his victim in the face with a bushknife and with blood gushing from his injuries, he stoned him in the eyes, which caused excessive bleeding that eventually led to his death.

This, he said, appeared to look like the man had gouged the eyes of his victim.

He claimed that because of the extent and the sight of the attack, the villagers thought he had gouged his victim's eyeballs and ate them.

He said, the villagers grabbed and tied him and were awaiting the arrival of the police, when the relatives of the victim took the law into their hands and killed the accused murderer, chopping him into pieces.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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