PNG MAN GETS 25 YEARS FOR BUSH KNIFE MURDER

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By Veronica Manuk

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Mar. 17) – A man who killed a woman for no apparent reason was sentenced to 25 years in prison with hard labor by the Kokopo National Court yesterday.

Justice Salatiel Lenalia convited Bill Marum of willful murder after he pleaded guilty to the charge.

Marum, of Tinganagalip village in East New Britain province, pleaded guilty but provided no motive for killing Geralda Uliabe on Dec 19, 2002.

The court heard that Marum was walking along Tinganagalip Road when he met Uliabe who was walking by.

Armed with a bush knife, he ran towards her and swung the knife on her neck and shoulder, knocking her to the ground.

While she was lying down, he stabbed her twice, killing her.

When asked in court what he had to say about his action, he had nothing to say.

Justice Lenalia said: "Willful murder is punishable by death."

He said it was a serious consideration to place on the hands of a sentencing judge to decide what the penalty should be in any willful murder case.

The judge said the killing happened on a public road and the facts before the court did not show any grudges between the prisoner and deceased.

He said taking into account his guilty plea, and his previous character, the 25 years imprisonment with hard labor was sufficient, although a life has been lost and the crime was serious in nature.

March 19, 2004

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