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Western Governor Wobiro, Gumoi and May Refused Bail

The Supreme Court in Waigani has refused three bail applications filed by sentenced Western Governor, Ati Wobiro, former provincial administrator, Dr. Modowa Gumoi and local businessman, Norman May.

The ruling handed down by Chief Justice; Sir Salamo Injia followed submissions, the trio made seeking bail on medical grounds.

Their requests for bails have been refused and this means, they will be remanded at the Bomana prison, outside Port Moresby.

The three men filed the applications using section 11 of the Bail Act.Under this section, it allows persons who have been convicted or sentenced to prison to apply for bail.However, bail is only granted on serious cases.

For the trio, they submitted through their lawyer ,Goiye Gileng that they had pre-existing medical conditions and needed to be closer to specialised medical services.

However, the CJ said sections 7, 13 and 67 of the Correctional Services Act 1995, gives authority to CS officers to look after the welfare of a detainee and the three men lost their right to bail, when they were sentenced by Justice Martin Ipang, last Friday.

Mr. Wobiro said he was suffering from five medical conditions that included asthma and diabetes which dates back to 2008. For Dr. Gumoi, he told the court he had four medical conditions including high blood pressure. While Mr. May said that he had diabetes, high blood pressure and heart conditions.

However, an affidavit submitted by Bomana Jail Commander, Kiddy Keko stated that the jail has special arrangements with Community Health Workers who can attend to detainees with special medical needs. After considering the submissions, the CJ refused the bail applications saying he was not convinced that their medical conditions had reached an advanced stage, and does not pose a serious risk to their health or is a threat to their lives.

The court ruled that if those were pre-existing medical conditions, they is an opportunity for self-help measures to be undertaken while the three are in prison.

The three men were found guilty by the National Court in Port Moresby for conspiracy to defraud the state and misappropriation of over K7 million. The court found that the trio set up the Fly Care Foundation but did not account for the millions of Kina that were invested into foundation.

They were sentenced to four years imprisonment for conspiracy and 10 years for misappropriation.

However, further court orders were given for the three to serve the sentence concurrently.


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