The National, Wednesday 22nd May 2013
By JUNIOR UKAHA
A COURT yesterday dismissed two separate cases against seven foreigners charged with breach of their visa conditions because government officials failed to turn up.
They were part of more than 30 foreigners of mainly Chinese and Bangladesh origin charged with breaching their visa conditions and illegally staying in the country.
Lae District Court magistrate Posain Poloh dismissed the cases because the arresting officers failed to turn up in court to give evidence.
The expatriates were arrested by the Task Force Rausim Alien team from Port Moresby last month at various locations in Lae city and Morobe.
Yan Quan, Maoqin Zhuang, Huiming Zhuang, Yuangyung Zhang and Zakir Mozafar had their cases dismissed.
Poloh ordered that their bail fee of K5,000 each be refunded.
Chen Tingting and Ming Quing Yang had their cases struck out but their bail forfeited to the state because they were out of the province during the court proceedings.
“The case is dismissed on information on want of prosecution,” Poloh said.
A similar ruling was also made for the second case.
The prosecution had asked for an adjournment of the matter saying key state witness John Bria was in Malaysia.
Defence lawyer Steven Kesno objected, saying Bria was fully aware of the case and should have made arrangements for others to stand in for him.
Bria is the coordinator of Task Force Rausim Alien, a government body set up to crack down on foreigners living illegally in the country.
Kesno added: “This matter was listed last month. My clients have the right to be on trial within a reasonable time.”
He submitted that arresting officers Vitus Krakuan and James Henry were in the country and should give evidence in Bria’s absence.
Poloh agreed, saying: “I can’t wait for John Bria. He thinks we can wait for him.”