DOREEN POLOH WAIM
A MAN in his 40s pleaded guilty at the National Court in Lae, , last Thursday for using another person’s name to vote during the 2007 national election at Igam Defence Barracks in Lae, Morobe province.
Sani Sanay from Suqwang village in Finschhafen, Morobe province, was charged with one count of impersonation, pursuant to section 99 of the Criminal Code.
He appeared before Justice Sao Gabi.
The prosecution had alleged that on June 30, 2007, the accused went to a polling booth at Igam Barracks and used the name of one Andekan Kompao, to cast a vote in the Huon Gulf Open seat.
After voting, he returned to the polling booth the same day to vote again.
Sanay admitted guilt and Justice Gabi found that it was consistent with the record of interview.
During the hearing, the accused expressed remorse and asked for non-custodial sentence because one of his three children was crippled.
The maximum sentence for impersonation is two years, however Sanay’s lawyer asked for a four to six months imprisonment because he had assisted the court by pleading guilty.
The State prosecutor said although it might not be prevalent, impersonation was a serious offence because it allowed leaders of a nation to be voted unlawfully.
He said an appropriate sentence must be imposed to send a clear message to people that the crime is serious.Justice Gabi adjourned the case to the next day for sentencing.