Arguments all about money, Judge says


ARGUMENTS among landowners usually revolve around money, says a national court judge.
“The questions is who is authorised to distribute land entitlements the way it should be distributed,” Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika said.
He made the observation at the Waigani National Court after dealing with the case of a man and his lawyer facing fraud-related charges involving K5 million of landowner entitlements.
David Kaya, 53, from Gowokoye village in the North Fly district of Western, and his lawyer Philip Kaman, 42, from Minj, Jiwaka, were both charged with obtaining money by false pretences, conspiracy to defraud and the misappropriation of K5 million. They allegedly occurred between July 25, 2014, and October 13, 2014, in Port Moresby.
The court ordered the transfer of the matter to Kuinga in Western after finding that all witnesses were based there.
Police said Kaya, the managing director of Paiso Company Ltd, owned a piece of land at the East Awin refugee camp.
The camp was set up by the Government to cater for West Iran border crossers.
The National Executive Council agreed to pay compensation to the landowners in 1987.
The court heard that on July 25, 2014, Kaya through Kaman, the principal of Kaman and Company lawyers, lodged a K5million land compensation claim with the Department of Treasury in Port Moresby.
A cheque was paid to Kaman and Company Lawyers on August 19, 2014, and was cleared on October 13, 2014.
But it allegedly did not reach the landowners.
Sir Gibbs adjourned the matter to Nov 21.

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