Counsel requests for suspended sentences

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 12, 2011

A DEFENCE lawyer yesterday submitted that most of the 11 people convicted in the William Kapris case should be given suspended sentences.
Anna Raymond, from the public solicitor’s office, and standing in for Joyce Maima, Bobby Selan and Peter Alan Popo because of the absence of their lawyer, argued that each of the case be considered on its own merit when sentencing.
Raymond said each person should be given suspended sentences or concurrent terms as the commissioning of the robbery stemmed from the conspiracy, which together with the others, should be one sentence.
She said most of the proceeds from the robbery were returned to the state, with no one benefiting directly; that all were first time offenders except Kito Aso and Bobby Selan; that most had already received “jungle justice” at the hands of policemen and which should be considered as punishment already received; that there was no real threat or violence used; the robbery was a “clean job” done over the weekend with no threat, risk or danger to anyone and that there was no discharging of firearms at all.
The defence completed its submissions yesterday, while the state continues a partly-heard submission this morning.
During the supplementary allocutus yesterday morning, 11 prisoners gave “extra” information on top of what they had already given last week.
They all had previously showed remorse and were apologetic to the court and to those affected.
Yesterday, the allocutus by the 11 was an attempt to produce documented evidence of their character.
One prisoner, Ruben Micah, brought into court a sports shield, three trophies and two medals, to show his team’s efforts to Justice David Cannings, who tried to suppress laughter, was clearly amused when Micah finished his allocutus by saying he a was a champion youth and church leader.
Micah also said he was summoned to mediate between police and locals in the past in Southern Highlands .
In their submissions, the defence team said under the criminal code the maximum penalty for each of the charges were: armed robbery, life imprisonment; kidnapping, 14 years; deprivation of liberty, three years and conspiracy, seven years.
Senior Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin, however, submitted that of the three different indictments and their 29 charges would be dealt separately in his 124-page submission handed to Cannings.
He said that of all the others, Micah’s role was the most critical as he was the one who picked Kapris up on his arrival from Kimbe at Gets Compound.
“How did he know William Kapris would arrive? He travelled to Madang on the day of the robbery. After the robbery he returned the hired vehicle. The role he played is vital,” he said.
Kaluwin said Kapris was the engineer and mastermind of the robbery; Elvis Bala Aka was the skipper; Alan Popo was the guard at Malolo Resort; Isabelle Kivare had moved into Ezekiel Mai’s house awaiting Kapris’ arrival; Joyce Maima hired the vehicle after the robbery for mobility in Lae and was in possession of K4,600; Selan’s house was used to accommodate men who travelled from Kimbe with Kapris; Colin Masilo was seen with the others in Lae at Selan’s home; Jacob Okimbari Peningi was known as the second in command and was the person who did the bookings; Aso was a guard at Malolo Resort; Damien Inanei hired vehicles and did bookings as well; Johnny Gumaira had no evidence of being involved except for the K125,000 found in a suitcase.
The case was adjourned to this morning for the final submissions on sentencing.