Court asked to censor reporting

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BHOSIP Kaiwi’s lawyer Emmanuel Ellison has asked the National Court to give certain directions to the media on court reporting.
Elison made the submission before acting Judge Laura Wawun-Kuvi at Waigani yesterday following the State’s oral application on Tuesday to bar the media from reporting Kaiwi’s murder trial.
Elison said the media had been reporting the witness statements in court word-for-word which could affect the State’s case and influence other witnesses’ statements.
“We have noted that the papers (newspaper) have reproduced the witness statements in court under oath word-for-word in their publication,” he said.
“While we understand that the public has the right to know, the court has to give certain directions as to how or what the media should be restricted to report and not word-for-word.
“The rule of evidence is that when trial is heard, other witnesses should not have access to what one witness is saying.
“When word-for-word evidence is published, other witnesses will have access to it by reading and this may affect the State’s case,” Elison said.
Judge Wawun-Kuvi told Ellison to conduct his own research and file a proper application. “I will give you time to research that aspect of your submission, for now there is no evidence that is being called and you provide the relevant affidavit,” she said.
“For now, it is from the bar table that you are indicating to the court that there is a repetition of evidence, word-for-word, and that is not proper before the court.
“I will grant the adjournment and you prepare the relevant application as to your concern, how it affects your client.
I will hear that application as a separate issue prior to hearing the application on admissibility.
“So we don’t confuse what is happening.
“I will also allow counsels to research properly and provide written submissions to support in relation to the issue of propensity or what is called similar facts evidence that is admissible for the court to determine because the court is not in actual trial, but trial within a trial at this stage.
“The substantive trial is pending the issue of admissibility of evidence that the State seeks to call.”
The court also noted that another issue was whether or not State could call a witness who did not initially give a statement or an affidavit in the committal court and there had been no service of affidavit after the committal.
Judge Wawun-Kuvi adjourned the matter to July 25. Kaiwi is again remanded in Bomana prison.
He was alleged to have assaulted his wife Jenelyn Kennedy, for five days, from June 18, 2020 to June 22, 2020, in their home at Korobosea, Port Moresby. On June 22, Kaiwi and Jenelyn drove out of their house and allegedly brought a nurse home to treat Jenelyn.
On June 23, Jenelyn was rushed to the emergency ward at the Port Moresby General Hospital but died as a result of internal injuries sustained from the alleged assaults.