By GEEJAY MILLI
RECAPTURED bank robbery suspect William Nanua Kapris yesterday admitted to possessing a gun, but told the magistrate he needed it to defend himself because politics was involved in his case.
His stunning remark took everyone by surprise, and Magistrate Danny Wakikura cut in to prevent him saying any more. The magistrate told him he could say all that at trial.
Kapris appeared before the Boroko District Court at 1.30pm yesterday amid tight security.
He looked well groomed, wearing a short-sleeved shirt tucked into his blue jeans, and black Stockman boots.
He smiled and greeted the few officials and media persons allowed into the courtroom before the court sat.
Kapris appeared on a charge of escaping from lawful custody from Bomana prison on Jan 12 and being in possession of an unlicenced firearm.
Yesterday’s appearance was in relation to the charge of possession of an unlicenced .38 special pistol when police recaptured him at the Afford Lodge situated along the Poreporena Freeway near the Gordon market last Saturday afternoon. Magistrate Wakikura said since the matter before
him regarding the re-arrest was “quite obvious”, it would be a “waste of court time” to go through the
committal process and the easier way was through an indictment.
He said the files would be handed to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Kapris to be indicted properly, instead of repeating the whole process – a waste of time and resources over a matter that has been high on the court’s agenda for the last month.
When asked by the magistrate if the firearm belonged to him, Kapris replied: “Yes, your worship, it is mine.”
Kapris was found to have contravened section 27(1a) of the Firearms Act of the Criminal Code.
Before magistrate Wakikura convicted him on the matter of firearm possession, Kapris was asked if he had anything to say.
He responded with: “Mi no holim displa samting (firearm) lo bagarapim wanpla man/meri lo public, em mi holim blo self-defence bekos politiks involve, man laik bagarapim mi – em (firearm) blo self-defence tasol” (the firearm in my possession was not intended to harm any member of the public, but for my own self-defence; because of politics being involved in my case, and people want to harm me, it was intended for self-defence).
“Mi askim marimari blo kot lo luksave lo case blo mi” (I ask for the mercy of this court regarding my case),” he said.
The case was adjourned to March 2.
Meanwhile, Kapris will be detained at the Bomana maximum security unit – the same place where he escaped from – awaiting his next court appearance.
Outside the court, traffic came to a standstill as heavily armed policemen blocked off the intersection of the Hubert Murray Highway before the overhead bridge and Turumu Street at Boroko.
Scores of onlookers packed the side rails to catch a glimpse of the high-profile prisoner.