Court clears public servant

The National, Wednesday July 20th, 2016

THE Waigani Committal Court has dismissed a criminal case against Treasury deputy secretary Aloysius Hamou regarding his charge of abuse of office relating to the purchase of two generators from an Israeli company in 2014.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar said the evidence provided by the police was “clearly insufficient” and cannot warrant the case to proceed to trial at the national court.
Bidar said there was no prima facie case made out because the facts in the matter did not go anywhere near the ambit of the charge.
He said Hamou acted in obedience to the orders and directions that he was bound by law to obey, particularly the directions by the National Executive Council, the Supplementary Appropriation Act 2013 and others for him to find money to pay for the generators.
“If the defendant (Hamou) did not obey this instruction, he may have been disciplined for insubordination,” Bidar said.
He told the court that Hamou should have been charged with compulsion under Section 32 of the Criminal Code Act instead of being charged with abuse of office under Section 92.
The court upheld Hamou’s submission presented by his lawyer John Griffin QC, on behalf of Twivey Lawyers, before dismissing the charge against him. The court ordered  that Hamou be refunded his K5000 bail money.
Hamou and Twivey welcomed the court’s decision.
The charge against Hamou arose from allegations that he approved the procurement of a K50 million Treasury cheque payable to the Bank of PNG to purchase the generators without following proper government procurement procedures.