David Tigavu, Chairman of the Kurumbukari Landowner Association, and one of the most vocal supporters of the Ramu nickel mine in Madang, has been sentenced to 12 months jail after being convicted on three counts of contempt of court.
The charges related to threats made by Tigavu in September against the landowner plaintiffs and their lawyers in the on-going dispute over the Ramu mine’s marine waste dumping plans
Tigavu was found guilty of threatening and inciting violence against parties to on-going court proceedings; threatening and abusing lawyers involved in the proceedings; and, threatening and abusing persons who may be witnesses.
Tigavu’s jailing could have a major impact on the commissioning of the Ramu nickel mine as he is the leading figure among the clans from the mine site.
The mining company, Ramu NiCo and two of its employees are also facing contempt charges over threats to the plaintiff’s. Their case will be heard in February.