Court to make ruling on Pala’s case on Nov 3

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THE Waigani Committal Court is expected to make a ruling on Attorney-General Ano Pala’s case next month.
He is facing charges of dishonest application and abuse of office.
Pala, who is the MP for Rigo in Central, was charged with 14 counts of dishonestly applying and 14 counts of abuse of office on March 25, last year in Port Moresby.
After hearing a lengthy submission from Pala’s lawyer Loani Henao, magistrate John Kaumi said he would make a ruling on Nov 3 whether to dismiss the charges.
In his submission, Henao said his client had no intention of dishonestly applying to his own use or to the use of another, but good intentions to provide goods and services to the people of Rigo by approving the resolutions of the Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee (JDPBPC) in a meeting on March 11 and 12,  2014.
Henao also stated that his client was “politically responsible” for Rigo district and that he had to sign necessary forms to ensure that funds to bring goods and services to the people were secured.
He further argued that the matter was not investigated by police prudently and objectively.
Kaumi told the court that he would make a ruling on the matter despite no response from prosecution to Henao’s submissions.
“A court order was given that prosecutions are to file submissions, our inefficiency borders on contempt,” Kaumi said.
Police allege that on March 11 and 12, 2014, the JDPBPC, with Pala as the chairman, passed resolutions for the district to purchase machineries and other service-providing facilities worth more than K2 million.
Pala allegedly approved the requisition with the intention of dishonestly applying to the use of a Korean company the machineries and service-providing facilities intended for the people of Rigo.
Police also allege that Pala signed forms that were supposed to be signed by certain authorised officials to secure the funds for the requisition. The matter returns to court on Nov 3.
Pala is on a K5000 extended bail.

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