Court overrules BSP executives’ pleas

National, Normal


AN attempt by the two Bank South Pacific senior executives to seek the court’s endorsement to cross-examine the people who gave testimony against them through their written affidavits has been overruled by the Waigani Committal Court.
The affidavits are for over a half dozen witnesses who tendered against John Maddison and Ian Flemming, in support of state’s case in prosecuting them with charges of “conspiring to defeat the course of justice” which contravenes section 128 of the Criminal Code Act.  
The duo’s counsel, Greg Egan, QC, from Australia, made an application early this week but on Tuesday presiding magistrate Lawrence Kangwia refused the defendants’ motion to cross examine the deponents, saying he would not do so, “at this stage”.
Kangwia added that doing so would “not grossly prejudice the defendant’s case, as they have yet to present the submission on insufficiency of evidence”.
“Even if they don’t succeed at the committal hearing, they still have the right to exercise the options under section 36 of the Evidence Act at the trial proper,” he added.
The duo is charged with “conspiring to defeat the course of justice” which contravenes section 128 of the Criminal Code.
The matter relates to Peter Yama, the former Madang MP representing Usino-Bundi and his business account with Bank South Pacific who is the complainant against the two.
Following Kangwia’s ruling, Egan yesterday made submissions seeking to dispute the charges on the grounds that his clients were only doing their designated jobs as workers of the bank and businessman Yama owed the bank money in lieu of loans he took out from the bank and as bankers, they were ensuring that the money was repaid to the bank.
Egan argued yesterday, in essence, that the charges against his clients was a second charge relating o the first charge, for which they were brought before the courts which was dealt with, then.
On this basis, Egan argued that this charge was an abuse of court process.
On this basis he is claiming on behalf of his clients that the charge should be dismissed.