By JULIA DAIA BORE
A THIRTY-one-year-old Engan man in a court battle against the state over claims he falsified a UPNG matriculation certificate to enrol at the Bomana Police College in July 2005, will remain in suspense about whether the court has found him guilty or not.
Peter Kulin, from Laiagam, appeared briefly at the Waigani National Court with his lawyer Paul Othas from Paul Paraka Lawyers for his decision on a verdict but the judge’s associate informed them that the matter had been adjourned to a later date, yet to be set.
Kulin had decided at the last minute – middle of last month – to take the witness stand in a bid to prove his innocence.
A “no case” submission by Kulin’s lawyers last month (Oct 8) was abandoned at the last minute when the court was told that the defendant would instead take the witness stand in his own defense.
Justice Panuel Mogish, presiding over the case, when told this, had said, this was the “very first time” he had come across such a situation.
However, he had allowed Kulin to take the stand last month to testify.
The trial proceedings in the matter closed for submissions on a verdict late last month and, last week, had been set for the decision on a verdict.
The matter stems from the state versus Kulin, whom the state alleges had “uttered”, claiming he had a genuine UPNG issued matriculation certificate to gain entry into the Bomana Police College to train as a new recruit in July 2005.
The charge of “uttering” contravenes section 63 of the Criminal Code Act.
Kulin claimed he was a student of the Enga centre of the UPNG’s Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE), in Wabag and had been granted the “genuine” matriculation (Grade 12, through the distance mode) certificate.
However, the state is arguing that the certificate is a fake.
The state had produced four witnesses, three police officers from the Bomana Police College and coordinator of the UPNG IDCE’s Matriculation courses, to testify against Kulin.