The National – Wednesday, December 15, 2010
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
THE two-year long Madang Bank South Pacific robbery trial has been riddled with improprieties, circumstantial evidences and total lack of evidence, the lawyer defending one of the 14 suspects claimed yesterday.
David Dotaona of Dotaona Lawyers said this in his final submission at the Madang National Court before Justice David Cannings.
He stressed that several of the witnesses, including Timon Kataka, were all in one way or another accomplices who received proceeds from the K2 million robbery two years ago.
Dotaona, who is defending main suspect William Nanua Kapris, said that although Kataka identified his client he was nowhere near the bank premises on the day of the robbery, July 5, 2008, nor was he at Malolo Resort, outside Madang, where four BSP employees and their families were being held captives by the suspected robbers.
Dotaona submitted that there was no direct evidence to show that his client was involved in the robbery. He also said that the bank staff who gave evidence did not mention that Kapris was present at the time of the robbery.
The court was told that Kataka was a brother-in-law, whose elder sister is married to Kapris.
He had told the court that Kapris and others escaped from Madang to Finschhafen and Lae and stayed at Bobby Selan’s house where ammunition and uniforms were distributed. Monies or proceeds from the robbery were also shared there and that he stayed with Selan for two weeks.
However, Dotaona submitted that Kataka’s story was unreliable evidence because he was also an accomplice and that he did benefit from the stolen monies, a total of K6,000 which was recovered when he was arrested.
The matters to be considered by Cannings were whether there was evidence of collusion between BSP staff and Madang police; whether police investigations breached procedures and clients rights; whether the trial was ambushed throughout by the state, in so far as handing last-minute documents over the bar table; whether state witnesses were giving own statements under their free will or were coerced or forced; whether state witnesses were credible or accomplices; whether the conclusive evidence of exhibit 47 (Kapris single fingerprint).
The state will present their submission in response this morning with a decision to be made later.
Cannings will hear Kapris’ human rights application and reasons why Kapris should not be moved to the main jail compound also today.