Banker committed to trial

Main Stories, National

The National, Thursday July 4th, 2013

 DEPUTY Chief Justice Gibbs Salika found former Bank South Pacific top executive Garth McIllwain had a case to answer in relation to fraud-related charges when ruling on the case in the National Court yesterday.

McIllwain has been accused of forgery and fraudulently uttering of documents purporting to be a Notice of Registration of Charge and Certificate of Compliance with Stamp Duties Act by Yama Group of Companies on May 6, 1999.

He has been charged on seven counts relating to forgery and fraudulently uttering as per the indictment by prosecutions.

He submitted he had no case to answer in relation to the charges but that was refused by Salika.

This means he will answer questions in relation to the charges in court when a three-day trial started on July 22.  

Salika extended his bail.

McIllwain appeared last month at the Waigani National Court in Port Moresby, represented by his counsel Greg Egan. Pondros Kaluwin is the prosecutor.

McIllwain, a naturalised citizen who has more than 40 years of banking experience in the country, is alleged to have signed the charges on a prescribed Form 24 as a director of PNG Banking Corporation in May 1999 but at that time he was not a director of PNGBC.

Registrar of Companies Alex Tongayu and police detective Francis Namues were cross examined last month and Tongayu told Salika that the alleged charges against Yama Group of Companies were not registered with the registrar of companies within a specific time frame.

Namues, the police detective in charge but now retired, told the court that he had two interviews with McIllwain in 2009 and 2010 at Konedobu, Port Moresby.

He said following investigations they obtained documents to question McIllwain but the accused did not agree that the documents were genuine and original and so police did a search again at the Investment Promotion Authority office and McIllwain went for another interview.

This time, Namues said McIllwain admitted they were his name and signature.

The case was reported at Gordon’s police station and then referred to detectives at Boroko.

“Because of the seriousness of the offence and the money involved, the matter was referred to the national fraud squad office,” Namues told the court last month.