PNG appeal to stave off death penalty

5:22 am on 9 May 2016

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has deferred a ruling until next month in a case in which a lawyer asked the court to convert a death penalty for his client to a 30-year jail sentence.

The case follows the killing of a woman in Milne Bay 11 years ago when two men, Sedoki Lota and Fred Abanko, beheaded her after allegations she practised sorcery.

The Post Courier reports that both men were convicted of wilful murder in 2007 and Justice Mark Sevua sentenced them to be hanged by the neck.

The judge and Abanko have since died.

Lota's lawyer's grounds of appeal are that Justice Sevua had erred in exercising the court's discretion by giving a sentence that was too harsh and out of proportion to the crime.

scales of justice, gavel

Photo: 123RF

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