Duban case goes to trial

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 28th March 2013


THE election petition for the Madang open seat filed by losing candidate Bryan Kramer will proceed to trial on April 8.

Justice Gavera Nanu made the ruling on Tuesday and upheld two of the four allegations made against sitting MP and Police Minister Nixon Duban.

The matter had its competency hearing on March 13, based on whether allegations of bribery and undue influence, attempted bribery and undue influence were exercised by Duban before and during campaign.

Eight of the 11 witnesses listed by the petitioner were called to give evidence after the competency case was thrown out.

It was alleged that on Friday, April 20, at a Silopi parish youth camp at Aufan village in the Transgogol area, Duban had handed out K50 and K100 notes to members of the youth camp. 

Ten were voters.

The court noted that the event occurred before the issue of writs on May 18.

It was also alleged that on June 11, 2012, at the Yagaum Lutheran hospital, Duban gave a cheque for K300,000 procured through the prime minister’s office, which he claimed as his own donation.

Three witnesses from the hospital administration were called to give evidence.

The other two allegations were of bribery. 

Justice Nanu said: “There was no evidence adduced if the person bribed at the material time is an elector or not.”

He said that a common roll should have been produced to prove that those allegedly bribed were voters. Witnesses also during cross examination had failed to indicate or state that they were voters.

Representing Duban was Samson Jubi of Twivey Lawyers while Young Wadau of Young Wadau Lawyers represented Kramer.