The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011
By ILA PAILAEA
THE ruling on a bail application for a PNGDF soldier charged with wilful murder and armed robbery will be handed down this morning by acting Chief Justice Judge Bernard Sakora.
A PNGDF lawyer, acting for Lance Corporal Daniel Mona, had to disrobe his gown and appear not as the legal counsel but as a friend to assist Mona.
When the lawyer asked for leave to appear as lawyer advising the court he did not have a current practising certificate, Sakora, in reply, said, “This court does not grant practising certificates. You can sit there but if you choose to appear, you have to disrobe (remove the lawyers gown and bib) and appear as a friend. If leave is granted to appear as counsel, then this court would be in breach of the laws of this country.”
Sakora told the accused that all documents required for a bail application were in order, including copies served on the state and that he was happy to hear the application.
The judge noted that the contents of Mona’s affidavit stated the circumstances he faced, being a family man, while he was being detained.
When asked whether he had anything to add, Mona told the Court, “I am still a serving member of the PNGDF and I’m thinking of my job, if detained beyond 21 days, I’ll be put off the pay roll.” He further told the court he had paid a K1,000 fine for a fire-arm charge.
He was, however, arrested on one count of wilful murder and two counts of armed robbery.
His friend told the court that according to the summary of facts, Mona was not implicated.
The State sought to show that Mona was connected to the crime after police recovered rifle magazines in his home at Taurama army barracks when co-accused, Elijah Manu led them there.
Manu allegedly gave the firearm used in the crime to a soldier for safe keeping.
Mona is alleged to have been involved in stealing more than K5,5000 from NR Global Rubber Company near the Correctional Services headquarters at Islander last October, where a senior policeman was shot dead and several police firearms were reported to have been stolen.