Judge warns lawyer not to discuss with officers in court

National, Normal

The National, Thursday October 10th, 2013

 A JUDGE yesterday warned a State lawyer in the Waigani National Court not to discuss matters with other legal officers while at the bar in court.

Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika was presiding over the criminal trial of Kabib Lamu and Thomas Kigilu, who face fraud-related charges. 

He told State lawyer Joe Apo that it was bad manners to talk with other lawyers at the bar table as it sent a message that he was not ready. 

“I was never taught that practice,” Salika said. 

Salika advised Apo to stop such practice, saying the bar was for lawyers to make submissions and to call witnesses. 

“All these things (discussions) must be done outside,” Salika said. 

Lamu, from Bukawa village, in Nawae, Morobe, is on trial with Kigilu, from Kaupena village, Ialibu, in Southern Highlands. Lamu, a police officer, is charged with obtaining money by false pretence

Kigilu, a former police officer, faces charges of false pretence and misappropriation.

Kigilu was the finance director in the Police Department in 2009 and Lamu was the community policing director when they allegedly committed the offences. 

Apo told the court that between July 1 and Oct 21, 2009, Kigilu dishonestly applied to his own use K7,000 belonging to the police department. 

It was alleged that Kigilu and Lamu on July 24, 2009, at Konedobu, in the National Capital District, with intent to defraud falsely pretended and obtained cheque payments of K3,000. 

On Oct 7, they obtained another cheque payment of K4,000 for police reservist allowances. 

State prosecutions alleged that Kigilu received the payments when he was not a police reservist, breaching the Public Finances Management Act.