JULIA DAIA BORE
THE Waigani National Court yesterday granted bail to a Rigo man accused of piracy and armed robbery.
Justice Panuel Mogish, who heard the bail application on Monday, said he would “exercise his discretion” and granted the bail as was requested by applicant Va’a Walo.
But there were condition attached on which required that he did not interfere with State witnesses while out on bail; or leave Port Moresby and to report to the court registry once a week.
Walo, 44, from Rigo but resides at Konebada, Port Moresby was alleged to have been in the company of 20 other men who boarded three fishing vessels anchored off Ela Beach and robbed the captains and crew of their property totalling K37,450.
Walo denied committing the robbery but had been remanded at the Bomana Correction Services since last April; during which time, he had lost a son and a daughter in a motor vehicle accident.
Counsel Richard Yombou said his client, Walo, had already been detained for more than a year pending trial and that Walo was concerned about his family’s welfare.
Walo said in his application that he was the only bread winner and since his remand, his wife and family found it hard to survive from day to day.
He told the court that he wanted to be allowed bail so that he could sort out his family matters before the trial and the final determination of the courts on his fate.
Walo, whose speed boats and outboard motors were allegedly used in the robbery of three fishing vessels off Ela Beach between 8pm and 10:30pm of April 22, last year, was arrested with another man on the same night the offence was committed.