11 Jan 2005

PNG provincial governor's rape hearing postponed

3:48 pm on 11 January 2005

The rape case in Papua New Guinea against the Madang Governor James Yali has been postponed until next Monday.

The National reports this was at the request of the defence counsel.

Mr Yali was to appear for mention at the committal hearing on four counts relating to the rape of his 17-year-old sister-in-law.

The leader was arrested and charged by Madang police on December 14 with abduction, unlawful detention with intent to defile, sexual abduction and rape.

He was said to have committed the offences against the student at the Madang provincial government headquarters on the thirteenth of October.

The 17-year-old student has since come out in public in an affidavit claiming to have had consensual sex with the leader and denied being raped.

She claimed that the story had been fabricated by political opponents of Mr Yali.

She's also written to police asking them to withdraw the charge.

Police refused her plea and charged Mr Yali who is out on a US$1,600 bail.

Mr Yali's wife, is also facing separate criminal charges for allegedly obstructing police from investigating the rape case.