By TABITHA NERO
A MAGISTRATE reminded a lawyer not to waste the court’s time and state only important points when presenting submissions.
“Unless there is special reason to read all counts and make reference to them later, then let it be read, otherwise save the court’s time,” Wagaini Committal Court magistrate Cosmas Bidar told lawyer Dudley Yariyari.
Bidar made the comments following a lengthy submission on sufficiency of evidence presented by Yariyari on behalf of former Education secretary Dr Michael Tapo, who is facing 25 counts of misappropriation, one count of official corruption and one count of abuse of office.
Tapo, 61, and from Soheneru village in the Lorengau district of Manus, allegedly misappropriated a total of K1,208,883.21 between June and December 2012.
Yariyari told the court that in relation to the 25 counts of misappropriation, there was no documentary evidence to substantiate the allegations against his client.
He said that some statements from witnesses were not signed by a magistrate.
“A magistrate does not have to sign all the papers as long as they are sealed by the court,” Bidar said.
The court heard that some of Tapo’s family members were harassed by police during investigations.
Bidar raised the concern that cases involving raising government requisitions, printing of cheques and finance forms involved a lot of people and Tapo was accused of doing all of these by himself.
“The court will consider the evidence and submissions by the lawyer (Yariyari) and rule on the evidence next Tuesday,” Bidar said.
By TABITHA NERO