By DEMAS TIEN
A SENIOR magistrate has urged police investigation officers to understand the reality of modern trade and commerce transactions when conducting their investigations.
Waigani Committal Court magistrate Cosmas Bidar said trade and commercial transactions nowadays were at their peak, and they were happening every day.
“People make millions over a cup of coffee,” Bidar said.
He made the comments when handing a court ruling in a case against a Filapina, Emily Alibaya, charged with conspiracy, forgery, fraudulently uttering and dishonest application.
The court dismissed the case because police evidence did not support the four charges against Alibaya.
The court ruled that Alibaya was doing her duties as a secretary for a company known as Feflo (PNG) Ltd, and what she did was not criminal in nature.
“Assessing all the evidence in totality, including submissions from the defendant’s lawyer and police prosecution, the evidence as it is, is not sufficient and therefore there is no prima facie case made out by the prosecutions that could warrant the committal of the defendant to stand trial at the national court,” Bidar said.
The court dismissed the information charging Alibaya and ordered that her bail be refunded and her passport returned to her.
The charges against Alibaya stemmed from allegations that she conspired with two others at the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) office in Port Moresby on Nov 15, 2014, to extort the company’s properties and forged an IPA form 16 to change the company’s directors and shareholders without the company’s resolution and knowledge of major shareholders.
The charges of fraudulent uttering and dishonest application were related to the same allegations.
The court found that what Alibaya did was not criminal in nature because she was doing her duties as the company’s secretary.
The court also took into account “wide range of issues” in the case, which included a civil case in the National Court regarding similar conflicts.
Police had gathered statements from 12 witnesses but the court found that the statements did not support the charges.
By DEMAS TIEN