Bench warrant sought for accused Australian

Main Stories

THE State has asked the National Court to issue a bench warrant for a 57-year-old Australian man for allegedly breaching bail conditions in relation to the conduct of an illegal online gambling business in Port Moresby two years ago.
Acting Judge Laura Wawun-Kuvi acknowledged the State’s oral application through lawyer Solomon Kuku on Thursday at Waigani and set July 25 for the matter to return to court for deliberation.
The State alleged that Anthony John Ryals and his son had conducted an online betting platform called during the National Pandemic period in May 2020.
Police were alerted and investigated the complaint and found that the gaming was unauthorised and illegally conducted.
Ryals was subsequently arrested and charged under section 244 of the National Gaming Act.
When the matter came to court on Monday (June 27), Kuku told the court that this was the first case for the National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) to be brought to the higher court.
Acting Judge Wawun-Kuvi asked if the matter could be heard in the National Court.
Kuku submitted that the offence under section 244 of the Gaming Control Act was not captured under the Criminal Code.
However, the State relied on section 260 of the National Gaming Act which states that the Public Prosecutor can indict offences under the Gaming Act hence the matter proceeded to Thursday.
Ryals did not appear in court on Monday as well as on Thursday.
Defence lawyer Bill Frizzell told the court that he tried communicating with his client via email but to no avail.
The State asserted that Ryals had travelled out of the National Capital District without the permission of the court and had therefore made an application for an arrest warrant to be issued.
The court also asked the State to file proper affidavit and move the application when the matter next returned.