The National- Monday, January 10, 2011
By ILA PAILAEA
A NON-commissioned officer of the PNG Defence Force, charged with wilful murder of a policeman and armed robbery, has been granted bail.
Acting Chief Justice Bernard Sakora in his ruling on a bail application by a PNGDF soldier allowed bail because the evidence as presented by the State did not implicate him on the charges of wilful murder and armed robbery.
“In a bail application, this court will have to begin with the presumption in favour of the applicant, which means the state will have to rebut the presumption of grant.
“Section 9 (1) of the Bail Act sets out the aggravating factors (grounds) for refusing bail and the onus is on the state to prove these grounds to prevail upon the court to refuse bail. Even if one or more of those factors exist the court still has discretion to grant bail.”
Sakora noted that the summary of facts failed to disclose that lance corporal Daniel Mona was involved in the alleged crime.
“The facts deal with discovery of rifle magazine at the accused house, apart from that, there is no legal connection between this applicant and the charge of wilful murder and armed robbery. So the state rely on section 9 (1) of the Bail Act, there is no evidence.
“In the respectful opinion of the court the state has not discharged its burden. The only charge is the firearms charge which is pending.”
He granted Mona a bail of K1,000 and ordered that the two guarantors, both army officers pay K250 each. Other conditions imposed were that he reports every Monday at the Boroko District Court, attends to hearing his case when required, that he resides at Taurama Barracks, to seek permission of the court if he needs to leave NCD; and he is not to interfere with State witnesses and the police investigation.
Mona is charged with murder and armed robbery relating to last October’s shooting dead of a senior police officer who was escorting about K55,800 belonging to NR Global Rubber Company. The killing occurred near the Correctional Institution Service headquarters on Wards Road where the suspects also stole police firearms.