Trial concludes for men charged with harbouring non-citizens

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

CLOSING submissions on the case against men charged with harbouring unlawful non-citizens will be made on February 7 at the Honiara Magistrate Court.

The hearing of evidence was concluded after the defence called their last witness – one of the accused on the case Sing Loh Jing.

The incident occurred in 2016 at Metuai camp, SKT Wawasan logging company at Shortland Islands.

The three men Sing Loh Jing, John Mamiaong and Charles Takule were charged for harbouring unlawful non-citizens while the company SKT Wawasan was charged for employing non-citizens.

Police alleged that the logging company employed four men from Bougainville as security guards at the camp.

Mr Sing Loh Jing in his evidence denied being involved in harbouring the four men or have known of any arrangement of how they Bougainville men were brought over to the camp.

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He also denied authorising company outboard motor engine for bringing the men to Metuai Camp.

He said it is the company which is responsible for employing the security guards and not him.

He said that when he was interviewed by immigration officers he did not fully understand the questions asked and just said what he thought of on that day of interview.

He told the court that there was no interpreter at that time of interview and because of him not understanding pidgin and English well he just responded yes to some other questions asked.

The trial ended yesterday and defence lawyer asked for seven days adjournment on the case for closing submission.

Office of the Director Public Prosecution represents the crown while a lawyer from Rano and Company is representing all the accused in court.

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