Korman murder case committed to Supreme Court

Three men who were charged for killing a Malekula man at Korman, Port Vila on 26 October 2018 have had their case committed to the Supreme Court next month for plea.

Joseph Iapatu, Jimson Iapatu and Thomas Kuau are facing three counts of intentional homicide contrary to section 106 (1) (b) of the Penal Code Act [CAP 135].

The committal was held behind closed doors before Senior Magistrate Peter Moses in chambers to test the evidence.

He ruled that there was a prima-facie case and ordered the trio to stand trial for plea in June 4, 2019 at the Supreme Court.

It was alleged by the Prosecution that on October 26, 2018 the deceased, Wesley Rutau was at the Korman area where he was killed. They said the defendants were already planning to kill him alleging he was practicing black magic back on Tanna and allegedly caused the dead of some people there.

Prosecution said the defendants approached the deceased who was looking for cassava and told him that they will sell some cassava cuttings to him.

They alleged that late Rutau agreed and followed them without knowing they already had planned to kill him.

They said at the time the deceased was accompanied by his 12-year-old son.

They alleged the defendants proceeded to their plan by assaulting the deceased with the branches, and cutting his arm and legs with a bush knife — in front of his son.

Court affidavits revealed his 12-year-old son then ran for help. There was another man who was following them at the time but he fled the scene after he saw what happened.

Prosecution said that the alleged killers were later arrested and admitted to planning to killing the deceased in advance.

A postmortem was carried out by Dr James Kalougivaki on December 12 2018.

According to his findings there was an incised wound on the neck of the deceased, left upper arm complete mid-humeral fracture, closed complete fracture in the right forearm and open complete fracture on the left foreleg.

He furthered in opinion that there were severe multiple traumatic injuries directly caused the death of the deceased.

Daily Post was told that an application for bail has been filed by the defense to be heard sometime this week.

The deceased is from Malekula but he was married to a Tanna woman and was working on board a local ship that regularly visits Tanna.

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