Potape exonerated of mismanagement by court

Komo-Margarima MP, Francis Potape has been exonerated by the National Court on allegations he mismanaged DSIP funds from his district between 2009 and 2010.

Justice George Manuhu this afternoon found Potape not guilty, putting an end to the criminal trial against him.

The decision on the no-case submission came today after Potape’s lawyer on July 14, asked the court to acquit him and stop the case from further proceeding as he did not have a case to answer to.

The court in its ruling found that the documents tendered into evidence during the trial fell short and did not show that Potape and other 9 members of his district received payments.

Investigation reports also brought before the court’s attention did not justify the payment nor show that he received monies from the resolution passed. 

Justice Manuhu said bank documents that State tried to tender into evidence during the trial were unlawfully obtained, as they were obtained from a search warrant that was used at his residence at Sabama and not the bank.

The court upheld his lawyer’s no case-submission, and found him not guilty to receiving K60,000.

Potape was alleged to have dishonestly applied to himself, and the use of others K330,000, monies belonging to the Komo-Margarima Joint District Planning and Budget Priorities Committee (JDP&BPC) between Nov 4-30, 2015, at Mendi.

State alleged that on the meeting on Nov 20, 2010, Potape, sitting as the chairman of the JDP&BPC, passed a resolution on Nov 21, 2010, to pay themselves outstanding sitting allowances covering transport, security and food for over 12 meetings from 2009-2010.

Sally Pokiton