Ruling on Pangu Pati duo set for June 12

PORT MORESBY, 15 MAY 2018 (POST COURIER) – The Waigani Committal Court in Papua New Guinea will rule on June 12 on whether to commit Pangu Pati duo Patrick Pundau and Morris Tovebae to stand trial at the National Court.

Magistrate Mekeo Gauli set the date last Friday after hearing submission from the duo’s lawyer for the charge to be dismissed and case thrown out for insufficient evidence.

Pundau who is the Pangu Pati president and Tovebae as general secretary are facing one count each of misappropriation.

Their charge is anchored on the allegation that on April 24, 2017, party leader and Bulolo MP Sam Basil approved a cheque of K50,000 (US$15,206) for K1000 (US$304) nomination fees of 50 candidate endorsed by the party to contest the 2017 National Election.

The cheque was given to Pundau to get Tovebae’s signature. It was further alleged that after the cheque was cashed on April 25, 2017, the money was not paid for the intended purpose but was misappropriated.

The prosecution submitted that all elements of the charge were established and they pointed directly to the two accused.

However, the defence team submitted, among others, that the prosecution did not establish who cashed the money.

They also questioned why party treasurer Daniel Kapi as the last person to sign the cheque was not charged.

Bail for the Pundau and Tovebae had been extended as well.

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