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December 9, 2021

Court Finds Three Men Not Guilty


By Theckla Gunga EMTV Port Moresby

Three men accused of stealing church money considered themselves lucky today when the national court found them not guilty based on technical grounds.

Judge Gibbs Salika made the ruling after it was found that the men were wrongly charged with conspiracy and stealing.

The three men: Ari Karu, Mahuta Magani and Boni Gui are all from Central province.

They were accused in 2013 of having conspired to steal over K37,000 belonging to the United Church, in Tubusereia.

The court heard that they used the letterhead of the Church and opened an ANZ bank account where they deposited the money.

It was alleged that all three were signatories to that account and had withdrawn money from it on numerous occasions.

They were initially charged for conspiracy and stealing in 2013, however Judge Salika said from the arguments presented in court the three were not correctly charged.

Judge Salika this morning dismissed the two charges stating that the ownership allegations were an important element in the case, but the lawyer representing the state had failed to provide that information.

The court heard that there was no evidence that the United Church in Tubusereia was an entity and that three were free to go. 

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