16 Jul 2002

Trial of 27 PNG soldiers charged with mutiiny opens today

4:39 am on 16 July 2002

In Papua New Guinea, the trial of the alleged Moem mutineers has begun with one of the witnesses describing the event as the most frightening of his life.

Twenty seven soldiers of the Second Royal Pacific Islands Regiment are on trial for a mutiny they allegedly staged at East Sepik's Moem barracks in March.

The soldiers allegedly broke into the weapons and ammunition armoury and burnt down two buildings while holding the barracks under siege.

They were demanding the resignation of the Prime Minsiter, Sir Mekere Morauta and the PNG Defence Force Commander Brigadier General, Peter Ilau over the retrenchment of soldiers.

All twenty seven have pleaded not guilty to the charges.