Land court organiser in court for contempt

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A SENIOR public servant in Manus province cited for contempt by the Lorengau District Court appeared again before the Grade 5 District Court on Dec 18 to explain his actions.
Sam Tapo has been cited for contempt of allegedly preventing the Lorengau District Land Court from travelling on a  court circuit to Rambutjo Island in the Tapatona LLG on Nov 30.
Mr Tapo explained to the court that he was only an attached officer who had no authority over district land court funds.
He also told the court that all the generated funds allocated for the land and village courts were administered by Manus provincial administration, therefore, the only person who authorised claims was the provincial administrator.
Senior magistrate David Maliku told Mr Tapo that the court had nothing to do with the provincial functions but was concerned over the schedule of court circuit on travelling.
He said the programme for the district land court on a circuit to Rambutjo Island had been given to Mr Tapo three weeks prior to the travelling date but he had failed to do his part.
Mr Maliku said the court would not tolerate such behaviour by senior public servants who thought they were smart.
He warned the public that the contempt of court was a serious charge.
The court allowed Mr Tapo to be released on K500 bail and to appear before the Lorengau Grade 5 District Court on Feb 22 for a decision.
There will be three witnesses to give evidence about Mr Tapo’s actions which had prevented the court from travelling on Nov 30.
Meanwhile, there had been more than K33,000 allocated for village court but, to date, only K31,000 remained in the bank.
Mr Maliku said this would be investigated soon.