Files Served To Former Lands Officers

By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby

The Waigani Committal Court heard this morning that police have served court files to former Lands and Planning Secretary, Romilly Kila Pat, and two former lands officers.

They are Vavine Walo, who was the department’s Finance and Budget Manager, and Simeon Andrew, the former cooperate director.

The three were charged for one count each of conspiracy and misappropriation last year.

The three appeared before senior magistrate, Cosmos Bidar, with one lawyer representing the former secretary, and another representing both Walo and Andrew.

Both lawyers confirmed the files were served to their clients however, Timothy Cooper the lawyer who appeared for Walo and Andrew argued that the files were incomplete.

Cooper said the file was missing some bank statements and requested if they can be made available.

However, magistrate Bidar said the accused cannot tell the prosecutor what evidence to provide before the courts.

Magistrate Bidar explained that if the committal court rules that there is sufficient evidence to move the matter to the National Court, then the accused has the right to submit statements or affidavits under Section 96 of the District Court Act.

The three were alleged to have conspired to defraud the state and applied to use over K200,000 from the Lands Reform Trust Account.

The incident was reported to have occurred in October, last year.

All three are out on a K2,000 bail each and will return to court on March 8.

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