By JAYNE SAFIHAO
CONTINUOUS adjournments in the William Kapris trial in Madang has raised doubts about the state’s ability to successfully prosecute the 14 co-accused and tested the judge’s patience.
Yesterday, the trial which started at 9.30am was immediately adjourned when senior state prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin informed the court that he was feeling sick.
Justice David Cannings told him that he would only be granted a one-hour adjournment during which time he was to find a replacement in the likes of Stanely Pil Jr or Nick Goodenough from his office to take carriage of the matters.
When the court resumed at 10.30am, Kaluwin advised it that it would not be a fair and proper for another lawyer with limited knowledge of the case to stand in.
He also said that it would jeopardise the state’s case implying that it would be a complete waste of state resources spent so far.
A clearly unimpressed Cannings blamed the office of the public prosecutor for all the unnecessary delays being caused so far, some due to financial constraints, and warned that his prior advice for Kaluwin to work with a partner had not been taken seriously.
After court adjourned, some of the co-accused openly expressed their frustration also saying that they were tired of the delays and wanted to get the case over with.
On Monday, Colin Masilo, one of the co-accused, had his voir dire case heard with arguments and witnesses still to be called.
Masilo is also alleging police intimidation and threats to his confessing and signing of statements to his alleged involvement in the Madang Bank South Pacific (BSP) robbery.
Also tendered before the court was a plastic bag containing a mobile uniform (one pair) and a grey collar button shirt, allegedly hidden by several of the co-accused in an oil palm block in Ramu.
The items were marked as exhibits but yet to be accepted into evidence together with a state witnesses’ oral evidence as the defence claimed technical irregularities and tampering of evidence.
The defence team had so far successfully obtained three voir dires – the court’s refusal to admit into evidence statements obtained by prisoners or accused under threat, intimidation or fear.
The three are Peter Alan Popo, Jacob Peningi and Jonny Gumaira.
The court resumes today at 9am.