Ati Wobiro

Wobiro will ask court to reopen appeal

Lawyers representing Wobiro, former Western Provincial Administrator Dr Modowa Gumoi and businessman Norman May, will appear before a three-man Supreme Court bench this afternoon.

They will be asking the court to reopen their appeal and revisit it, alleging a slip, or error, was made by a three-man Supreme Court bench on April 27.

Justice Panuel Mogish, Justice George Manuhu and Justice Stephen Kassman will hear the slip rule application after lunch today.

Full court to hear Wobiro’s application

The three filed separate applications that will be asking the court to reopen their appeal and revisit it, alleging a slip, or error, was made by a three-man Supreme Court bench on April 27.

The slip rule application was filed after the Supreme Court, on April 17, dismissed their appeal against conviction and sentence.

The case came for directions on Friday, where their lawyer indicated they were ready for the hearing.

​Western trio allege court made an error

The three filed a slip rule application on May 18, asking the Supreme Court to reopen their appeal and revisit it, alleging an error or slip was made by the three-man Supreme Court when it dismissed their appeals against conviction and sentence.

Their lawyers will seek leave of the court to move the application on Thursday, August 31.

This direction was issued by Justice Stephen Kassman today at the Supreme Court direction hearing.

Lawyers representing Wobiro, May and Dr Gumoi filed the application against the majority decision of the Supreme Court on April 27.

Wobiro asks court to revisit appeal

They filed a slip rule application alleging a slip, or error, was made by a three-man Supreme Court bench on April 27. This was when the court dismissed their appeal against conviction and sentence.

They returned to court today with their lawyer for directions in the Supreme Court. Their matter was adjourned to June 29.

Their lawyer will seek leave of the court to revisit the appeal the full court had earlier dismissed. If leave is granted and the application allowed, the court will reopen the appeal.

Court dismiss Wobiro's appeal

It was an anxious wait for Wobiro, Dr Modowa Gumoi,  Norman May and their families who turned up in numbers to the Waigani National Court precinct.

On standby at the airport was a chartered jet that would fly him to Kiunga, if the court had ruled in his favour.

The decision of the three-man Supreme Court bench however went against them.  The bench by majority dismissed his appeal against conviction and sentence.

Wobiro's fate to be known today

He has been serving a 10 year sentence since 18 November 2016.

A three-man Supreme Court bench consisting of Justice Panuel Mogish, Justice George Manuhu and Justice Stephen Kassman will give their ruling at 10:30am on the appeals against conviction and sentencing, which Wobiro and two others filed.

On 23 March, Wobiro, Dr Madowa Gumoi and Norman Carl May asked the Supreme Court, through their lawyers by way of appeal, to quash their conviction and sentencing, saying it was flawed and unsound.

Dates available for Western trio’s appeals

Justice Stephen Kassman said there are dates available in February however, that will depend on how fast lawyers file their submissions in court.  

He made these remarks on Friday when the matter went for directions hearing before him. The case will return for mention at 1.30pm today.

The Supreme Court will be dealing with nine sets of appeals in total, two appeals from each applicant against the National Court’s finding of guilt and their ten-year sentence terms.

Court year in review- Governors in court

Western Governor Ati Wobiro is serving a prison term of 10 years for misappropriation after he was sentenced on Nov 18.

He was convicted on July 26 for conspiring with two others to establish the Fly Care Foundation between January 1 and December 30, 2013, by using over K7m funding from the provincial government.

He has since filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against his conviction and sentence and the matter is pending in court.

Bail refused for Wobiro, Gumoi and May

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia refused to grant bail to the three this afternoon. However, he said their appeal will be put on the Supreme Court fast track list of cases.

“I am not satisfied that their continued imprisonment pending appeal is not justified.”

Sir Salamo said the interest of justice demands that the applicants (Wobiro, Gumoi and May) remain imprisoned whilst their appeals are being fast tracked to a hearing.

“For the foregoing reasons, bail is refused in respect of each applicant,” the Chief Justice said.

K10,000 bail granted to Wobiro and friends

The National Court granted bail for the three after they showed exceptional circumstances. Bail was allowed after conviction pending the sentencing of the three.

Justice Panuel Mogish this afternoon allowed bail after medical reports produced before the court came from reputable medical practitioners and specialists.

He also allowed bail after considering the affidavit of Bomana Jail Commander, Superintendent, Haraha  Keko, that the CIS facility at Bomana was very basic and unable to accommodate, treat and monitor patients with heart conditions.