By BOURA GORUKILA
A MAGISTRATE has ruled that there is sufficient evidence to try Niu Age Lawyers principal lawyer George Lau for alleged false declaration under Oath and Affirmation and Statutory Declaration Act.
The charge relates to a document that he signed knowing it to be false to stay the operation of former prime minister Peter O’Neill’s arrest in 2019.
Waigani Committal Court Magistrate Laura Kuvi dismissed a charge of conspiracy, a charge of false oath, and two counts each of forgery and uttering against Lau for insufficient evidence.
Lau is to return to court on Jan 26 to submit his statement on the ruling to commit him to trial.
Magistrate Kuvi heard submissions in relation to the matter.
“I found that there is sufficient evidence relating to the information that Lau signed knowing it to be false,” she said
“The document provided by police shows that there is no signature either by the magistrate or the arresting officer.
“If there is a signature by the arresting officer then it’s a genuine police information.
“In this case there is no signature by the arresting officer and the magistrate, therefore that is not a genuine information.
“Lau declaring it to be a genuine document to apply for an urgent stay order is in breach of a law and I find sufficient evidence to commit him to trial.”
Lau, 40, of Kaipare village in Laiagam, Enga, was charged with seven charges, two counts each of forgery, uttering, false oath and a count of conspiracy.
Police say they suspected that Lau received instructions from the former prime minister O’Neill last Oct 15 between 11am and 6pm to provide legal advice to stay the operation for his warrant of arrest obtained by police on Oct 11.
Lau and others were alleged to have gone to the Waigani District Court and colluded with registry clerk Christine Moiyang to have the warrant of arrest, notice of motion, affidavits in support and police information and summary of facts printed to apply for an urgent stay order.
The alleged forged and uttered documents were used to apply for a stay order at the National Court.
The order was granted by the court.
Lau was arrested and later released on a K2,000 bail.
By BOURA GORUKILA