2 Mar 2004

PNG public prosecutor appeals rapist's sentence

3:41 pm on 2 March 2004

The Papua New Guinea public prosecutor, Chronox Manek, says he is launching an immediate appeal against a double rapist.

A former church deacon, Jerry Buka, was allowed to go home after receiving a four-year suspended sentence, and being put on a three-year good behaviour bond, for twice raping a widow who, with her children, was staying with him and his wife in Bumbu.

In sentencing Buka, Justice Manuhu said it was a first offence, he was not a threat to the community, was a respected community member and a deacon in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

But Lae's Office of the Public Prosecutor condemned the sentence as a mockery of the justice system.

Mr Manek says in a case of this nature ten years imprisonment is usually the starting point and then mitigating factors are taken into account.

"In this case, the factors for the prisoner were in my view not that strong. And the factors that were against him were quite severe. So, when I weigh all of those up I would be looking at within the vicinity of 13, 15 or even 18 years."

The Papua New Guinea public prosecutor, Chronox Manek.