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Seeking Court Fines

Aitape Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch has submitted a court fine of K500 each on the three charges he pleaded guilty to.

The state despite making strong statements on Pruaitch’s lateness to submit Annual Returns, also submitted Pruaitch should pay a court fine instead of a dismissal from office.

The state through Public Prosecutor, Pondrons Kaluwin submitted that a fine of K1000 each would be the appropriate penalty.

At the start of the submissions this afternoon at the Bomana Court House, Pruaitch was given the opportunity to tell the Tribunal what he thought would be his appropriate penalties.

However Pruaitch did not take the opportunity and allowed his lawyer, Greg Shepard to file written submissions on his behalf.

Mr. Sheppard’s  submissions are that under the Organic Law on Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership the charges of “Late Annual Returns is not an offence that requires dismissal from office.

Thus a court fine of K500 would be the appropriate recommendation in given the current circumstance.

Last Friday, the Leadership Tribunal led by Chairman, Justice Panuel Mogish found Pruaitch not guilty for the six out of the nine charges, Pruaitch pleaded not guilty to.

This allegations include accusations of Misconduct in Office, Double Dipping into vehicle and entertainment allowances and misappropriation of the 2003 District Support Grants

For the three charges Pruaitch pleaded guilty to, the allegations are that between 30th June 2003 and 30th September 2005, Pruaitch failed to without reasonable excuse to present to the Ombudsman Commission Annual Statements for three consecutive years.

Submissions made by the state on the appropriate penalties include recommendation for dismissal or a the maximum court fine.

However Public Prosecutor, Pondros Kaluwin after filing a 13 pages submission agreed that a court fine of K1,000 each would be the appropriate penalties.Seeking

The sum of the court fine is outlined in the penalties under the charge of Misconduct in Office under the Organic Law Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership.

The Leadership Tribunal is expected to hand down a decision on the penalties, next Thursday.

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