Magistrate tells lawyer he should know better

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AS a lawyer who is very senior in the legal fraternity, Magistrate Laura Wawun Kuvi told George Lau that he should have known that information must be signed before it is commissioned.
Waigani committal court Magistrate Kuvi on Friday committed Lau, a principal lawyer of Niu Age, to stand trial in the National Court on a charge of false declaration.
The charge relates to a document that Lau signed allegedly knowing it to be false, to stay the process of former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s arrest in 2019.
The document did not have the arresting officer’s signature, nor the signature of the magistrate, thus it was not genuine. “Lau should have conducted further due diligence on his part to really ensure that the false documents he signed were truly indeed the documents used by the magistrate to grant the warrant of arrest,” she said.
Magistrate Kuvi said she was satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to commit Lau to trial. Police prosecutor Sgt John Wamugl said the genuine documents were not obtained from the district court.
He questioned how Lau got custody of the documents which were unsigned by the magistrate and arresting officer.
Lau, 40, of Kaipare village in Laiagam, Enga, had his bail extended.