Magistrate to make ruling

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 23rd April 2013


MAGISTRATE Comas Bidar will rule this week whether he and another colleague should hear fraud-related cases against former Works secretary Joel Luma.

Luma asked Bidar in the Waigani Committal Court to disqualify himself and magistrate Pinson Pindipia from hearing his cases because of an alleged apprehension of bias.

Luma faces 51 counts of dishonest application, one count each of conspiracy to defraud, official corruption, abuse of office and false pretence.

He made the application through his lawyer David Tambili of Wantok Legal Group Lawyers.

According to a copy of his submission obtained by The National yesterday, Luma alleged that Bidar was a relative of one Gabriel Tomtai, the first assistant secretary contracts with the Works department. 

He also alleged that Bidar and Tomtai were related to Hans Sarua, the former deputy secretary for works who Luma had sacked for insubordination. Luma alleged they were relatives who came from Bogia district in Madang.

On Pindipia, Luma alleged that he was a relative of Works Minister Francis Awesa and both were from Southern Highlands.

Bidar said he would rule on the application on Friday.