The National, Thursday 23rd August, 2012
By ADRIAN MATHIAS
A MAN charged with dangerous driving and causing death walked free from the Waigani Committal Court yesterday because police had failed to serve him an investigation report.
It was yet another case in which the presiding judge or magistrate has highlighted police inefficiency. Several cases had been struck out in the past couple of weeks.
Striking out the case against Sebby Wale, magistrate Rosie Johnson said dangerous driving causing death was a serious offence and was often dealt with summarily in a grade five Committal Court.
“This case has been going on for over four months without actual hearing in court. The court has yet to hear evidence from the witnesses. What’s happening with the case?” Johnson asked the prosecution.
Johnson said the case had been floating at the periphery of the courts for over four months.
“Somebody had to be blamed for the failure on the part of the police,” she said.
Johnson told Wale that police did not provide his file in court.
She said she was mindful of the rule of natural justice where the accused had certain rights to be fairly represented and even convicted of charges, and so struck out the case.
The court told Wale that he was free and that police would refund his K500 bail money.
The court also reminded him that police could arrest him anytime for the same charges if they established new evidence.
“But in the meantime, there was none.”
In another case, a man who under false pretence, approached a law firm in Port Moresby in a bid to sell a portion of land and obtained K20,000 for it, told the court yesterday, that he had reimbursed the money last Friday.
The court heard that Mataio Geita, on Oct 7, 2011, at Korobosea in the National Capital District, pretended to a law firm in Port Moresby that he was selling a piece of land for which he received K10,000 each on two different dates as deposits.
The case has been adjourned to Aug 29 for verification on the payment and for the prosecutor to furnish Geita’s K500 bail receipt to court.