Court refuses bail for lawyer on murder charge


THE National Court at Waigani has refused a bail application made by a lawyer charged with murdering his wife on July 2.
Justice Teresa Berrigan refused bail application made for Robert Mai, principal of Robert Mai Lawyers charged with murdering his wife, due to lack of proper evidence to determine his medical condition, the possibility of him interfering with state witnesses and seriousness of the offence as it included violence in a family home in the presence of a child.
Berrigan said Section 9 of the Bail Act gave discretionary power to the court to grant bail for such cases and did not bind them to follow technical rules of evidences. However, in this case the applicant needed to show exceptional circumstances that made his continued detention unjustified.
She said considering the grounds for bail presented by Mai’s lawyer, Charles Mende from Wantok Legal Group, she was not satisfied that there were exceptional circumstance which required to grant his bail application.
Mende submitted that Mai had medical issues which needed immediate attention among other grounds.
Mai claimed to suffer from hypertension, heart problems and bronchitis which required medical treatment, including surgery and monthly checkups as stated by a medical officer from Gerehu General Hospital.
He also submitted that Mai had a law firm and business to run and continued detention would affect his law firm and business.
Mende said in addition Mai had 11 children from his three wives, including the deceased, and needed to provide for them as most of them were young.