Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Source: The National, Tuesday 21st Febuary 2012 By JAYNE SAFIHAO WELL-known woman leader Catherine Mal was yesterday jailed for 17 years over a killing four years ago. The National Court in Madang jailed her, her son and two nephews for a total of 87 years for the 2008 killing – described as a “vicious and savage murder”. Mal, businesswoman and a former candidate for the Madang open seat, collapsed outside the Madang courthouse after the sentencing by Justice David Cannings. The frail-looking mother, whose medical condition had delayed sentencing since December, spent a few teary moments with her lawyer inside the court room before then. The jailing of the four marked the end of the Mal family murder case which caused the death of Daga Nanas on April 13, 2008, at Talim village on the outskirts of Madang. Mal was jailed for 17 years while her son Emmanuel Ong was jailed for 30 years. Her nephews Moses and Lotivi Mal each received 20 years. Mal’s jail term was for her part in aiding the murder by egging her relatives on saying “kill them, kill them” Cannings said because each of the accused had varying degrees of involvement, each needed to be sentenced separately. He said the two Mal brothers were given the same 20-year sentences because their personal circumstances were similar. He said Ong was directly responsible of Nanas’ death, by striking him on the head with an iron rod and smashing his jaw. “I have carefully considered the many fine things said about him in character references,” Cannings said. “He is an educated and intelligent man, spoke passionately and eloquently in his allocutus. “However, the overriding consideration is that he has been convicted as the principal offender in a vicious and savage murder and he must be subject to a sentence that fits the severity of that crime.” In sentencing the pale-looking Catherine Mal, who tried in a last-minute attempt to tender a doctor’s report before the verdict was read, Cannings said her contribution to the death was significant as she shouted encouraging words to her three relatives to kill Nanas. He said considering her glowing report of community service and her poor health, he had reduced her term to 17 years from the 20-year term he had intended to impose. Since being found guilty last year, Mal had been hospitalised for a number of medical problems, including diabetes. Cannings found that reports the Mal family wanted to seek peace through compensation had not yet occurred. However, he suggested that they could consider that when they became eligible for parole.
Posted by MATHEW WERIGI at 12:01 PM