The National, Thursday October 31st, 2013
BUSINESSMAN Eremas Wartoto has asked a three-man Supreme Court bench to stay his trial scheduled for next month.
The bench comprises Justice Derek Hartshorn, Justice Colin Makail and Justice Joseph Yagi. They will give a ruling later.
Wartoto, who owns a local airline company, has been accused of using K10 million allocated by the State to airline companies as a freight subsidy, to buy his aircraft. He has denied the charge.
Camillus Sambua of the Public Prosecution Office submitted that Wartoto’s stay application was an abuse of process and should be dismissed.
The National Court had dismissed Wartoto’s stay application last August.
Wartoto is arguing that the case against him should have been brought as a civil proceeding and not a criminal proceeding.
Wartoto’s lawyer argued that the draft indictment presented to Wartoto’s legal team had two more fraud-related charges that needed to be clarified.
Sambua however submitted that Wartoto’s criminal trial should proceed as scheduled. He said the issues raised in the stay application could be brought up during the trial by way of defence.
Sambua said there were no valid reasons given as to why the criminal trial should be stayed by the Supreme Court.
Wartoto’s trial in the National Court is scheduled for Nov 11 before deputy chief Justice Gibbs Salika.