Justin Parker allowed K10,000 bail

Jiwaka businessman and owner of Golden Valley Enterprise, Justin Parker, has been allowed bail at K10,000 by the Supreme Court after two failed attempts at the lower courts last year.

A three-man Supreme Court bench granted bail to Parker at K10,000 just before lunch-time today. The decision comes after two bail applications in the National Court were refused on June 6 and Sept 10, 2015.

Parker has spent 18 months remanded at Bomana since he surrendered to police in June 2015.

The court was satisfied he has spent reasonable time in custody since he was committed to stand trial in December 2015.

At the time bail was granted, Parker spent 12 months in remand after he was committed to stand trial.

Justice David Cannings, in giving the unanimous ruling of the three-man bench, said four months is the timeframe which a trial must be held after an accused has been committed and in Parker's case, it has been more than four months.

They also allowed bail after the court saw that Parker was not flight risk, has two reputable guarantors who will ensure he follows his bail conditions and has no prior convictions.

He is not to consume alcohol, must attend church every week, reside at his Badili residence, not interfere with any witnesses, must report to National Court Crimes Registry every Mondays, must attend all his scheduled court dates and keep peace at all times.

His two guarantors will pledge K10,000 each to ensure he follows all his bail conditions.

His continuous medical condition of high blood pressure was also a ground of his appeal.

The court was told by Parker’s lawyers that a ban has been in place since October on all medical trips out of Bomana, and a request by Parker to visit his doctors at the Pacific International Hospital was refused. This was because of a recent escape during a medical trip into the city.

The 43-year-old is from Minj, Jiwaka Province. He was arrested and charged with the wilful murder of his chief aircraft engineer, 54-year-old Lapan Nason, from New Ireland Province, on June 6 at Gorobe Street, Badili.    

The Supreme Court was also told today that the Public Prosecutor has downgraded the charge of wilful murder, which Parker was committed to stand trial for, to murder. He will stand trial on the charge of murder.

His trial in the National Court has been deferred due to forensic tests still being conducted on the shirt of the deceased.  

The tests were allowed by the court after Parker’s lawyer moved an application to have DNA testing done on the shirt, which was allegedly used by Parker to clean off the blood of the late Nason at his Port Moresby home on Saturday, June 6, 2015.

Nason died two days later from his injuries at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

(Loop PNG file picture of Parker last year at the Bomana National Courthouse)

Sally Pokiton