By Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Justice Gibbs Salika’s courtroom was full of high profile individuals this morning, with those appearing for mentions on various charges, most of which involved abuse of office.
Two of them were current MPs – Western Governor, Ati Wobiro, and Bogia MP, John Hickey.
The others were Travel Air owner, Eremas Wartoto, former Police Commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, and Western Province Acting Provincial Administrator, Dr. Modowa Gumoi.
All of these individuals appeared in person before the Deputy Chief Justice and they all heard first hand that their cases have been adjourned to March 7 of this year.
Eremas Wartoto appeared on four different cases that involved conspiracy, misappropriation, false pretense and money laundering.
Former Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki’s mention was extended to the same date because his lawyer did not show up this morning. His case involves attempting to pervert the course of justice and abuse of office.
For the Western Province public figures, both the Governor and the Acting Provincial Administrator appeared on the same counts of misappropriation, conspiracy to defraud and abuse of office. Their trial date has been set for March 7 and will be heard by the Daru National Court.
John Hickey appeared on counts of official corruption, abuse of office and misappropriation, and stealing. Hickey’s bail has also been extended to March 7, which will also be when a pre-trial conference will be heard on the matter.
In the meantime, lawyers for Hickey and the State are ordered to prepare and file pre-trial review statements and review bail conditions from the district to the national court.