InisRemoket was found guilty of Murder in the Second Degree by the Palau Supreme Court on Monday, August 17.
Following the five-day trial, the presiding judge, the Honorable OldiaisNgiraikelau, concluded that Mr. Remoket took the life of his wife Ochob Jaycee Iyar Soto in September 2016.
Murder in the Second Degree could carry a sentence of life imprisonment. Sentencing is set for September 21, 2020. The defendant will remain in police custody until then.
The verdict comes over a week after the conclusion of the trial on August 7. During the conviction, Chief Justice Ngiraikelau stated that the Court has taken ample time to consider all of the evidence, and had gone through at least ten drafts of the court verdict to adequately address what he called “a very unfortunate incident”.
In the written verdict, Chief Justice Ngiraikelau asserts that the evidence, which is “sufficient to exclude every other reasonable hypothesis”, all supports Remoket’s guilt.
“The evidence in this case, though purely circumstantial, points to only one reasonable explanation for Iyar’s disappearance—that Remoket murdered her,” the verdict states.
As evidence of Mr. Remoket’s guilt, Chief Justice Ngiraikelau cited specifically the defendant’s claim of memory loss and his lying about Iyar’s whereabouts following her disappearance. He stated that the Court has examined all other possibilities– such as the defense’s suggestions that Jaycee may have committed suicide or been killed by her boyfriend Mr. TolenoaTulensru– and said that there is no reasonable evidence supporting any of them.
The court verdict references further evidence presented by witnesses throughout the trial, much of it having to do with Remoket’s abusive behavior towards his wife.
“The Republic points to evidence that Iyar was a victim of domestic violence, Remoket had physically assaulted Iyar in the past, Remoket was seen standing over Iyar’s body as another man was trying to stop him from harming Iyar outside of Sunset Park, and Iyar was last seen with Remoket at around 3:00 a.m. on the morning of September 18, 2016,” the verdict states.
Ochob Jaycee Iyar Soto went missing on September 18, 2016. Her remains were found two years later, in September 2018, attached to a rope tied to rebar at the bottom of the ocean near the Japan-Palau Friendship Bridge.