What has happened to the RD tuna murder case?
Nothing has been heard for many months now about the case of the six Filipino RD Tuna fishermen accused of the murder of National Fisheries Observer, Charlie Lasisi, of New Ireland Province.
The killing took place on 29 March on board the RD Tuna vessel FV/Dolores 838 inside the Bismark Seas in Vanimo, along the Indonesian/PNG border.
Police say Mr. Lasisi had been strongly objecting to the fishing of dolphins by RD Vessels which have long been accused of catching of dolphins, sharks and other prohibited fish.
It was between 6pm-7pm when Charlie Lasisi went missing after he left the ship’s mess room.
Police say when he left the room, two Filippino crew members – Ramil Lumactod and June Alon – left with him, but returned to report he had “gone missing.” The captain searched the area and the ship but could not locate Lasisi.
On 31 March a report was sent to the Managing Director of National Fisheries Authority (NFA) Sylvester Pokajam and the National Maritime Safety Authority who sent officers to investigate on “suspicion of murder”.
Also charged with murder in addition to Ramil and June are Bonfacio Gelvoko, Franz Olivia Oyao, Jerwin Famini and Francisco Famini.
The six were remanded at Beon jail in Madang for several days until K500 bail each with ten conditions was granted by Justice David Cannings. The men were released into the care of the senior Vice President of RD Tuna Canners Limited in Madang. Justice Cannings ordered that RD Canners pay surety of K10,000 because they were all foreigners. Cannings said the amount should ensure they six do not escape because not only would the money be forfeited but it would proven bad for the corporate reputation of RD Tuna if the six did not return.