Accused of defaming Pundari

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ENGA finance manager Nathan Lapakio is facing two counts of defamatory publication charges for allegedly attacking Sir John Pundari on social media.
Lapakio, 50, from Laiagam village, Kompiam-Ambum, Enga, is alleged to have published a defamatory post on Kompiam-Ambum Political Forum page on Facebook, accusing Finance and Treasury Minister Sir John Pundari of trying to bribe the Electoral Commissioner with K4 million.
Lapakio’s lawyer asked a Waigani committal court yesterday to grant his client leave to return to work as he was part of the Enga election steering committee.
Magistrate Paul Puri Nii said while the defendant’s movement would be restricted, which meant he would not be able to travel out of Port Moresby as this was a condition of his bail, he would allow the defendant to travel out of National Capital District (NCD) and return before July 26 for his next court hearing.
The case was adjourned to July 26 for defence submission.
A complaint was laid against Lapakio at the Wapenamanda Police Station for sharing defamatory link from a Kompiam-Ambum development forum WhatsApp group to another WhatsApp group called “Brothers Club”.
On April 2, he appeared before the Wabag District Court.
However, the second charge is for the publication of another defamatory post to a Facebook group saying: “Sir John Pundari, why did you carry K4 million to electoral commissioner again when your offer was rejected?
“Shame on you.”
The post was published on March 20 at 11.59pm in the Kompiam-Ambum political forum using a social media Facebook account name Nakau Pakepao.
According to police, Lapakio admitted that he had shared the WhatsApp link on March 18 but denied any knowledge about the Facebook post.