By TREVOR WAHUNE
A LEADERSHIP tribunal has adjourned the case of Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch for alleged misuse of district support grants in 2002, 2003 and 2004 to Tuesday after his lawyer Greg Sheppard raised issues of the charges being in two volumes but only one being presented.
Pruaitch was charged by the Ombudsman Commission in 2009. A three-men bench consisting of Deputy Chief Judge Sir Gibbs Salika and magistrates Regina Sagu and Benjamin Tanewan upheld issues raised by Sheppard that since the first volume of charges were served to him only yesterday morning, and the second not yet, he needed time to go through the charges himself and also with his client.
Sheppard said that the charges presented before the tribunal were not signed, which made the charges “un-authored” though through his findings, saw that some charges were filed by Quest Investigation International, a firm owned by a Pakistani citizen Sheraz Kamarley, with the help of local lawyer Paul Mawa.
“We are entitled to consider how the prosecutor plead those charges, to see whose charges there are, and know how to respond to them as part of natural jurisdiction,” Sheppard said.
“For those reasons, these charges fall short of the manner for the case to proceed.”
Sheppard told the court that his client also had the right to be heard after the Ombudsman Commission made findings, but this was not the case yesterday due to an another appeal filed on July 29 that was still in its initial process.
Sheppard said another issue was the delay in which the initial matter had started in 2003, where the investigations ran in 2006, then the initial charge was instigated in 2009.
By TREVOR WAHUNE