The National- Thursday, January 20, 2011
By JACOB POK
FORMER chief executive of Bank South Pacific Garth McIlwain has been committed to stand trial at the National Court by the Waigani committal court yesterday.
He faces charges of forgery and altering and on appearance before Magistrate Sinclair Gora, who ruled, saying that there was sufficient evidence provided by the prosecution that warranted McIlwain to be committed to face trial.
McIlwain, a respected figure in PNG’s finance and banking industry, was arrested and charged mid last year over allegations of conspiracy to defraud a certain company owned by former politician and Madang businessman Peter Yama.
Yama laid a complaint, claiming McIlwain had falsified a document relating to a fixed and floating charge and heavily debited his (Yama’s) company without his knowledge.
Yama previously pushed similar charges against two other BSP bankers, Robin Fleming and John Maddison, but their charges were dismissed last year by the National Court.
Yama claim McIlwain had allegedly signed the fixed and floating document in 1999 when he was not the director.
Yama further claimed he had never obtained any loan from BSP in the period of May 1999 and was surprised the fix and floating charges were created.
Gora in his ruling mentioned that there were “serious evidence” produced before the court by Yama’s witnesses.
He said one of the evidence was an affidavit signed by deputy registrar of companies, Alex Tongayu, stating that the fixed and floating document signed by McIlwain on May 6, 1999, was altered, in which the front and the back pages of the document were different from the rest.
The evidence also claimed that several pages of the document were photocopied from previous fixed and floating documents.
Additional evidences by Peter O’Neill tendered in court also claimed that McIlwain was not a director of the bank at the time when he signed the documents. ient to bring the matter to trial.
McIlwain’s lawyers argued that the fixed and floating documents were created to recover loans that Yama never repaid.