The three bus and taxi drivers accused of assaulting Florence Lengkon on 13 March, 2016 were acquitted yesterday, after the Supreme Court ruled that they had no case to answer.
Drivers Ben Koro, Glen Kovoi, and Charley Kasuali have been acquitted on the charges of intentional assault, but Koro and Kovoi are now remanded in custody after they plead guilty to the kidnapping of Ms Lengkon.
The only evidence presented before the court on the charges of intentional assault was from Florence herself, but she could not identify anyone who assaulted her.
President of the Taxi Association Elton Worwor was the only defendant who pleaded not guilty but has a case to answer on charges of unlawful assembly.
Worwor had identified three of the defendants responsible for the assault in his statement to Police,but Supreme Court Justice Richard Chetwynd said the court won’t be able to rely on this evidence.
Justice Chetwynd said although three names were recorded in statements provided by two police officers, there is no evidence as to how Mr Worwor knew that the three individuals were involved in the assault.
The trio who were also charged with threats to kill when Ms Lengkon was taken from her office to the main wharf were acquitted of the charges yesterday afternoon.
According to the Supreme Court judge, there is no question that the incident is a frightening one for the complainant but there is no evidence from the Prosecution that there were threats to kill.
Five of the drivers, namely Pierre Noal, Koro, Kovoi, Kasuali and Worwor were also charged with unlawful assembly.
Koro and Worwor were the only ones to plead not guilty and after an application of no case to answer by their counsels.
Koro was acquitted of the charge while Mr Worwor took the witness stand yesterday afternoon to defend himself.
Noal, Koro, and Kovoi who were responsible for taking Ms Lengkon by force from her office to the main wharf have all pleaded guilty and are being remanded in the Correctional Center.
Lengkon’s evidence and medical reports clearly showed that she received a blow to her right face that left a temporary injury on her right eye.
But despite the fact that the Bus and Taxi Association President admitted that there were over 60 drivers at the wharf at that time, not one of them stepped forward to identify who struck Ms Lengkon. READ MORE
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST