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Court adjourns Tari-Pori election-petition case

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By CHRISTOPHER YOWAT
The Court of Disputed Returns yesterday adjourned an election petition for the Tari-Pori open seat to Oct 16.
The petition was filed by Justin Haiara on grounds of errors, omissions, bribery and undue influences during the polling and counting period.
The court heard that Haiara would be the appellant in the matter, elected MP for Tari- Pori James Marape the first respondent and the electoral commission as the second respondent.
The court was made aware that Haiara appeared in court in relation to the matter.
Haiara told the court that 20 witnesses would be called to give evidence.
The court heard that they had yet to file affidavits.
Justice Collin Makail gave Haiara’s witnesses two weeks to have their affidavits filed and served to the respondents. The court was told that no witnesses would be summoned during the trial.
Marape’s lawyer told the court that they would also be filing an objection to competency application in relation to the petition.
Justice Makail adjourned the matter to Oct 16 for pre-trial conference.
Meanwhile, Johnny Pokaya also filed a petition against Marape on the grounds of bribery and undue influences.
Pokaya’s lawyer told the court that 30 witnesses would be called to give evidence on the grounds of bribery while another 20 witnesses would give evidence on the grounds of undue influences.
Pokoya’s lawyer told the court that there were two instances of bribery in two  LLGs and eight instances of undue influence in other LLGs in the electorate.
Justice Makail adjourned the matter to Oct 30 for a pre-trial conference.

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