Bail a constitutional right, says Kange’s lawyer

Bail is a right under the constitution of Papua New Guinea that is subject to the discretion of the court, lawyer representing Felix Kange said this afternoon in a packed Waigani National Court room.

Counsel representing Kange, Fredrick Lunge formally moved the bail application this afternoon that was opposed by the state.

Justice George Manuhu, after hearing the application, reserved his ruling to next Monday (June 6).

Lunge moved the bail application pursuant to section 42(6) of the PNG constitution saying anyone is entitled to bail, except when charged with wilful murder and treason. He also relied on section 9 of the bail act.   

He told the court that Kange was charged with manslaughter and bail should be open to him.

Lunge submitted his client is willing to pay an amount of K2, 000 if the court allows bail. His two guarantors have also pledged K1, 000 each for his release.

He said Kange has been assisting the family of his late wife, Regina Morove, with funeral expenses, adding he will refrain from handling all forms of firearms if bail is allowed to him by the court. 

Affidavits from the police investigating officer and the late Morove’s father, provided before the court today, showed no objection to bail. However, Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin said despite the police and father of the victim not objecting the bail application, “It does not necessarily mean that bail should be granted”.

He submitted the Court has the discretion to decide in the interest of justice.

Kaluwin said this case of manslaughter involves the use of a firearm and the police summary of facts stating entry of the gunshot was through the mouth of the deceased.

He also said Kange’s statement said the gun “accidently went off”, killing his wife.

The late Regina Morove was allegedly killed by Kange on the night of May 14.

Sally Pokiton