PAPUA NEW GUINEA JUDGE WANTS KNIVES, AXES BANNED

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By Elizabeth Vuvu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 15) - A National Court judge has called for the ban of knives, bush knives and axes as people were not using them for the right purpose.

Justice Gibbs Salika told The National yesterday from Manus where National Court sittings are currently held that the public wanted guns and ammunition banned. However, nobody was worried about the sale and transport of knives and other pointed material in public places.

The court sentenced three people in Manus to a total of 28 years behind bars on three separate charges of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm.

Among the three, a man from Manus was found guilty of killing his wife’s lover with a knife.

Benny Warangu was initially charged with willful murder but Justice Salika considered his defense of extreme provocation as he had actually witnessed his wife’s illicit sexual behavior with her lover, he was sentenced to 16 years for manslaughter.

In another case, a Manus man caused grievous bodily harm to his wife’s lover.

He chopped the wife’s lover on his back with a knife. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

Another was sentenced to eight years in prison for causing bodily harm to another in a fight also using a bush knife.

"It’s time the community calls for the banning of knives and axes as people these days are not using it to cut wood and gardening but are using it for the wrong purpose," he said.

Justice Salika said even informal markets in Port Moresby and elsewhere were selling knives openly.

He said under Section 12 of the Summary Offences Act, it is stated that carrying of offensive and dangerous weapons in a public place without reasonable excuse was an offence under the Act.

"Therefore, anyone carrying offensive materials in a public place should be arrested immediately and police should put to action the Summary Offences Act," he urged.

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