By Serah Aupong – EM TV, Port Moresby
Gulf Governor, Havila Kavo, is out on bail. Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia took into consideration the exceptional circumstances surrounding the governor’s case when approving bail.
Governor Kavo was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison for misappropriation of funds earlier this month.
Kavo’s seven bail conditions include a K5,000 fine and a guarantee that he will not leave Papua New Guinea without the approval of the Supreme Court.
Added to those conditions are firstly that the applicant will attend all court proceedings in which his case is mentioned or heard by the Supreme Court, starting 13 February 2015. The second condition is that the applicant will not interfere with state witnesses and the records of evidence that those witnesses gave.
Supreme Court Room 3 was packed to capacity, with supporters of Governor Kavo who were present to hear the bail ruling first-hand.
Kavo spent two weeks at the Bomana Prision. His legal team argued his bail application yesterday saying that this was an exceptional case.
The three grounds they argued were the execution of his duties as Governor of Gulf, the prospect of successin his appeal next year and that the court administration delayed the hearing and determination of his appeal.
“It is a relief to me because the people of Gulf Province have not had proper leadership for months because of this case,” Governor Kavo said.
He described it as a great Christmas gift as he will be able to spend the festive season with his family.
His lawyer Simon Keta said, “this does not in any way indicate the outcome of the substantive appeals that will be heard next year. At least now that the governor has been released, he is able to perform his duty as governor and an elected member of parliament.”
The governor will appear for a mention of his appeal on 13 February and the hearing is scheduled for the April sitting of the Supreme Court next year.