Justice not served in PNG refugee murder case - advocate
: Australia's Refugee Action Coalition says justice has not been served in the murder case of 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
Australia's Refugee Action Coalition says justice has not been served in the murder case of 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
This comes after PNG police said two men found guilty of his murder could spend as little as three more years in prison.
Two former workers at Australia's offshore detention centre on PNG's Manus Island, Joshua Kaluvia and Louie Efi, were sentenced yesterday to 10 years' jail, suspended after five years, for killing the Iranian man during a riot in February 2014.
PNG police said because of time already spent at Lorengau Jail on Manus Island, the two men would spend just over three further years in prison.
The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul told Koroi Hawkins the outcome of the murder case is disappointing but not surprising.
IAN RINTOUL: Well I don't know that you can really call it an outcome I think the PNG government and the Australian government would like to draw some line under the grisly murder of Reza Barati but the sentence that has been handed down to these two guys is not going to settle issues at all. And I think as the judge himself said it highlights the fact that there hasn't been a proper investigation that there are many other people who were implicated in the murder and particularly the expatriates who have not been called to account and as long as that is the case the cloud will continue to hang over Manus Island.
KOROI HAWKINS: And what do they end up getting here the two locals who are unfortunately the only ones being implicated?
IR: Well given the suspended sentence and a whole range of other things, the chances are, and they have already been in jail two years, they may only be another year. Because there will be other kinds of remissions which will mean that they may get out in a years time and teh truth is if they serve that time on Manus there is no reason to believe that there are actually going to be held in close detention on Manus Island. They have certainly been able to come and go from the prison pretty much as they like because the people on Manus Island believe that these two have been made scapegoats.
KH: And we are talking about a grisly murder as you mentioned here what were they actually charged with and how come the sentence is so low?
IR: Well they were charged with murder, the actual charge is very clear but the sentencing has been reduced astonishingly because of the large number of other people who were clearly implicated in the murder and although the judge outlined their particular role in actually attacking Reza. You know he made it very clear that there were a large number of other people and the sentence was discounted because he couldn't establish their particular role or the fact that they had been able to be singled out. You know the fact that the Australian government and the New Zealand government were not willing to cooperate with the PNG police for example to interview expatriates who were identified as being involved is one of the things that has weighed very heavily, on the, not on the case but also as far as, politcally as far as the killing is seen amongst Manus Islanders themselves.
KH: So would you say justice has not been served in this instance? And has there been any change at all in a positive way in terms of the outcomes of this?
IR: I think there is a very real reason why these two are seen as scapegoats for what happened in February  with the killing of Reza Barati. There has not been a proper investigation into that, the people who were ultimately responsible the Australian government and the PNG government for putting Reza Barati in that detention centre for leaving them vulnerable to the outside attack I mean there is a whole range of things that simply aren't settled by this particular case. In that respect justice hasn't been done, is yet to be done and as long as there are people still inside that Manus Island detention centre, still fearful of retribution then the cloud of the killing of Reza Barati will continue to hang over that detention centre or it will hangover any sense of justice as far as the Manus Island detention arrangements are concerned.
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