‘Bribe’ will not stop me from doing duties, magistrate says

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday February 11th, 2014


LAE Magistrate Jeremiah Singomat says he will continue to hear an election dispute case over the mayoral seat despite an attempt to “bribe” him with a basket of food.

Singomat, who was transferred from the Mt Hagen district court to Lae last year, said unidentified men had gone to his home and left a basket of food there.

“I will not accept bribery in any form or shape,” Singomat said.

“I don’t want to be intimidated. It’s very bad and it should never happen. A million dollars won’t dissuade me.”

He did not give details but said people must come to court to seek justice and not resort to bribery.

Former Lae mayor James Khay took his successor Koim Trilu Leahy to court alleging “undue influence and illegal practices” at two polling stations in West Taraka during the local level government elections last July.

The matter was first heard in court last August.

Khay and Leahy were in court yesterday with their lawyers.

Khay’s lawyer Roselyn Kot had vacated the trial to renew her practising certificate after it expired.

Kot asked for an adjournment. 

But Leahy’s lawyer Kenneth Asi from Manase and Company Lawyers asked the court to dismiss the case. 

Singomat said the case had merit and should proceed to trial.