News Southern

Gulf Governor to Stand Trial

By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Gulf Governor, Havila Kavo, will stand trial at the National Court for alleged misappropriation of property.

Committal Court Magistrate, John Kaumi, ruled today that there was sufficient evidence against Kavo that warrants him to stand trial.

It is alleged that in January of 2015, Governor Kavo, acting as the Governor and Chairman of Gulf Economic Development Authority, obtained funds that were directed for use by the Gulf Provincial Government.

The Mineral Resource Development Corporation paid a cheque for nearly K1.1 million as a dividend, to the Provincial Government.

It is alleged that the Governor instructed the Managing Director of Gulf Economic Development Authority, Mika Akia, and its General Manager, Willie Simoi, to collect the cheque and deposit it into the authority’s bank account, when in fact it’should have been deposited into the Provincial Government’s account first.

Gulf Economic Development Authority was set up as a Trust Company established by the Provincial Government to manage and invest funds for the people of Gulf.

After the amount was deposited, it was alleged that up to K783,195.70 was withdrawn in that’same month of January.

It was alleged that it was done without the concern or authorisation of the Provincial Assembly and the Provincial Executive Council.

Despite Kavo’s submission that the police investigation and evidence at present are well below standard and are insufficient, Magistrate Kaumi said it is a matter for the National Court to decide on.

He said for now there is sufficient evidence on the essential elemen’s of the misappropriation charge.

Meanwhile, the matter will return to court on May 5, when Kavo and his lawyer will file a Section 39 statement.

The statement is in response to the District Court finding and committal for trial at the National Court.

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