Ruling on Wobiro trial tomorrow

The outcome of the National Court trial on misappropriation allegations against Western Governor Ati Wobiro and his two co-accused is expected to be made known on Friday.

This decision from the trial has been outstanding since April when the trial was conducted in Daru. Submissions on what should be the decision of the trial were done on May 25 by Wobiro’s lawyer and lawyers from the tate.

Governor Ati Wobiro and his co-accused; Western Provincial Administrator Dr Modowa Gumoi, and the chief of Fly Care Foundation Inc. Norman Carl May are facing identical charges of misappropriating funds totaling K7.9 million, charges that arose from counts of abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud and misappropriation of public funds.

Lawyers representing the three defendants told the court that the State prosecutors did not prove their case beyond reasonable doubt on allegations that they misappropriated funds.

It is alleged the three conspired to establish the Fly Care Foundation between November 10 and December 15, 2013, by using K7.9 million funding from the provincial government.

State alleged they conspired to misappropriate funds through a memorandum of agreement between Governor Wobiro and May for the Foundation to deliver projects in the province. 

Greg Egan, in presenting the defense case, told the court prosecution did not prove its case during the trial or produce evidence that would amount to a case beyond reasonable doubt that the three defendants intended to defraud, steal or misappropriate any funds.

State, on the other hand, told the court there is evidence the three conspired to misappropriate funds. State prosecutor Anthony Kupmain also said the three accused personally knew each other before they entered into the MoA.


(Loop PNG file picture of Western Governor Ati Wobiro outside the Waigani Court house.)


Sally Pokiton