Court clears professor’s charges

National, Normal

The National, Thursday July 18th, 2013


FORMER PNG University of Technology (Unitech) head of electrical and communications engineering Prof Narayan Gehlot is seeking legal action after being cleared of charges of dishonestly.

Gehlot, former Unitech vice-chancellor Prof Misty Baloiloi, former bursar Jimmy Imbok, former registrar Allan Sako, and former project officer Brian Kakini were on July 5 cleared of conspiring to and misappropriating K675,703.

Lae Committal Court magistrate Posain Poloh said the case should not have come before the court and was a waste of time.

He said the prosecution was based on ill-will, personal vendetta, and was personally motivated.

Police had alleged that between Jan 17 last year, and Feb 4, Gehlot had conspired with the other accused to misapply the money from public investment programme (PIP) funds to improve infrastructure at Unitech.

Poloh dismissed the charges of conspiracy, false pretence and intent to defraud the state, Gehlot dishonestly applying K675,703 to his own use, and ordered that Gehlot’s K5,000 bail be refunded and his American passport be returned.

Gehlot, an American citizen who had chosen to stay on in PNG to pursue legal action as well as reinstatement to his position at Unitech, said he had been hard-done by the administration of controversial former vice-chancellor Albert Schram and senior staff of the university (named).

He is seeking damages for having spent four days in the Lae police cell and eight days at Lae’s Buimo Jail in February. 

Gehlot said the K675,703 in question was reimbursement to him from Unitech for using his own funds to buy equipment, books, and other teaching material from USA.

He provided detailed documents to provide proof of purchase as well as approval from the administration.