Murder suspect wants lawyer to represent him


IT is important that the interests of a person accused of a serious crime like wilful murder is considered in court, a judge said yesterday.
Justice George Manuhu made this statement to lawyers at the Waigani National Court yesterday during the case of Billy Sapsi Pokea, charged with wilful murder of a senior public servant in 2014.
Pokea, in an earlier court session during the day, screamed at the judge who was about to read out his indictment that was presented to court by State prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin.
Later that afternoon, Pokea apologised to the court for screaming at the judge and asked the court not to proceed with his trial yesterday but adjourn the case until he engaged a private lawyer.
Pokea said he did not want to be represented by the Public Solicitor’s Office and asked for adjournment.
Kaluwin objected to Pokea’s application and said that it was a very costly exercise for the State as they would have to fly in two witnesses from overseas.
“This is a wilful murder case and there are times, likely, that the accused person is likely to win his case and it’s the accused’s interest that is important,” Justice Manuhu said.
Justice Manuhu allowed for the adjournment to Jan 31 for mention to allow Pokea time to find a lawyer.
Pokea, 45 and from Sumea village in Mendi, Southern Highlands, is charged with the wilful murder of former director-general of the multilateral electoral division of the Department of the Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dennis Taylor Bebego, on July 5, 2014.
Pokea appeared in court from custody at the Bomana prison in Port Moresby.

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