Thirteen Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers who were charged with mutiny have begun testifying.
On Tuesday, they submitted to the Bomana National Court that they did not have a case to answer to and that their conduct was not a mutiny but mere insubordination, reports the PNG Post-Courier.
Justice Panuel Mogish dismissed their submissions and ruled that there was “ample evidence” for all 13 soldiers to have a case to answer to.
The platoon headed by Major Edimani Benjamin was tasked to maintain the Exxon Mobile camp in Komo after Exxon Mobil gave it to PNG government to use as a PNGDF base.
Then PNGDF headquarters ordered the platoon to withdraw from Komo in August 2015 and return to the national capital of Port Moresby but they did not comply.
News reports at the time said the soldiers had refused to return to the capital at the time because of outstanding pay owed to the troops.
In December 2015 they lost two soldiers in a tribal fight.
The soldiers charged under Major Edimani Benjamin are Warrant Officers Miugle Ludwig, Melerot Robin, Kaule Scotty, Sergeants Agiru Alex, Kaupa Amos, Mairi Mairi, YupangaJoel, Guria Urban; Corporals Waimi Walter, Worihun Henry, Peter Perari and Private Philip Kiak.