I knew I was innocent, says Nauga after court ruling

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By Alice Osii
FORMER auditor-general Philip Nauga says he was innocent all along following the dismissal of his case yesterday.
“I knew I was innocent but I needed to prove that to the court,” he said.
“Today, the court has confirmed that I have always been honest all along.”
Nauga, of Boregaina in Rigo, Central, who resigned from his position recently, was discharged by the Waigani Committal Court yesterday on corruption charges related to his position as the auditor-general.
The court discharged Nauga on all charges of abuse of office, official corruption, misappropriation and conspiracy to defraud. The amount involved was K247,500.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar said the submission by defence lawyer, Paul Othas, of the Paul Othas Lawyers, proved that there was insufficient evidence to commit Nauga to stand trial in the National Court.
The court has ordered that his bail money of K3000 be refunded.
“These charges are clearly defective charges,” Bidar said.
“These charges should have been either withdrawn or an application for an amendment should have been made.”
Bidar said the evidence supplied by police did not state the facts to the four charges.
“In committal proceedings, the evidence should make out basic elements of the charges laid against the person.”
Nauga told The National that: “To be an auditor-general, you are not supposed to be corrupt.”
Yesterday’s clearance was a relief for Nauga and his family.
“What I am disappointed about is the traumatising effect that I had to go through over the last four months.”

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