Defence rests in Madang BSP case

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, December 14, 2010

THE defence team in the Madang Bank of South Pacific (BSP) robbery yesterday closed its case with submissions on verdict to be heard today and tomorrow with two co-accused taking the stand also.
Johnny Gumaira and Bonny Solomon gave unsworn statements in the hope of getting their story across to Judge David Cannings of how money found in their possession were accounted for.
According to evidence in court, Gumaira had put K129,500 in a camouflage suitcase and buried it in the ground at Igam block.
He was also the person found in the home of another co-accused, and a personal acquaintance of his, Joyce Maima, on Aug 12, 2008, around 5am.
A police search of Maima’s home uncovered a total of K4,600, all in K2 notes, with the Madang BSP seal intact.
Gumaira denied these facts yesterday, saying that the K129,500 was someone else’s money he was “looking after” and that the K4,600 was his payment. He also claimed that he did not know that the money was in the suitcase.
Meanwhile, Solomon said the K1,200 which was in his possession at the time of his arrest at Unitech gate in Lae, was the money he made from the sale of seven betelnut bags.
All the other 12 co-accused remained silent with their case rests on the weight of evidence of each element of the charges laid against them.
The state is expected to do their submissions tomorrow. The court will then hand down its ruling on the verdict for all the accused.
If the court convicts any of the accused, it will proceed to hear submissions on sentence at a later date.
If the court accepts submissions by the defense counsels it will acquit.