Court sends Maprik MP to trial

The Committal Court today ruled that it has found sufficient evidence against Maprik MP John Simon to warrant him to stand trial at the National Court.

Magistrate Cosmas Bidar found that allegations of two counts of false pretence and the 38 counts of official corruption against Simon were sufficient for his court to commit the MP to stand trial.

It is alleged that the two counts of false pretence with intention to defraud arose from Simon obtaining funds from the Maprik District Service Improvement Program. 

This saw amounts of K37,050 and K49,000 respectively paid into two of Simon's family companies; Extreme Hire Cares and Extreme Construction Ltd in 2012.

These funds were allegedly paid out by the Maprik District Treasurer after threats were issued by Simon.

The 38 counts of official corruption relate to various payments Simon allegedly authorised for agricultural projects in the district.

Bidar said most requests for financial assistance to start up those agricultural projects did not go through the District Plannng Budget Priorities Committee for approval.

He said a number of those requests came from members of the Royal PNG Constabulary to start up agricultural projects.

The matter will return to court on November 5 where Simon's lawyer Moses Murray indicated he will file a section 96 statement.

This statement is a response statement to the District Court finding and committal for trial at the National Court.

Sally Pokiton