Witness: I was bribed to sign

Main Stories, National

The National, Thursday June 20th, 2013


A STATE witness told the Mt Hagen District Court yesterday that he was given K200 to sign a prepared police statement.

During the committal hearing on the arson case in which the Jiwaka regional ballot papers were burnt, witness Aki Kunagil told magistrate Jeremaiah Singomat that former Anglimp-South Waghi district administrator Gokumi Kimin had offered him the money to sign the witness statement.

Kunagil told the court that he did not report to the police an alleged assault on Kimin where some people took his vehicle and used it to burn the ballot papers. 

“The police investigation team took me to Kiminiga police barracks with Kimin on Nov 20 last year where they told me that they would give me money if I signed the statement they prepared under my name,” he said.

“Since they offered me money, I just signed. And when I came out of the police criminal investigation office, Kimin gave me K200.” 

Kunagil said he did not know what the statement was about because he did not give any statement or report to the police at Minj or anywhere. 

“I don’t know who prepared the statement under my name because I didn’t talk to any police about the alleged incident,” he said.

In the statement summarised by defence lawyer Robin Yalo, Kunagil said he saw a Paul Kaman armed with a gun stop Kimin, dragged him out of his vehicle and attacked him.

Kunagil claimed that he saw blood on Kimin’s eyebrows.

Kimin told the court that his vehicle was taken off him by  Kaman and others to go and burn the ballot papers.

He claimed that they stole K9,000 hidden under his car seat.