Vaki’s lawyer told not to ‘pass the buck’

All lawyers practising in Waigani know that a “call over’’ (in Fraud and Crime track) is always held on the first Monday of every month, the Deputy Chief Justice said to Geoffrey Vaki’s lawyer today.

The former Police Commissioner and his lawyer Sam Bonner appeared before the National Court this morning (Nov 4) after he failed to return to court for call over on Monday (Nov 2).

Vaki however went to the court registry after lunch on Monday and was told he was supposed to appear that morning. He was later told to appear today.

Bonner said his non-appearance on Monday was due to  there being no communication between him and the Public Prosecutors’ office on the return date.

He said he was not advised that his client was to return to court on Monday by the Public Prosecutor’s office after his last appearance on October 22.

Part of the bail conditions that was imposed Oct 21 when bail of K3, 000 was allowed was for Vaki to report to the National Court twice every month and attend all call over listed days.

Bonner in defence of his client said it would be more practical and normal procedure for the Public Prosecutor to inform him of Vaki’s appearance dates.

“Lawyers in Waigani know that call over is every first Monday of each month, that’s been the operation and you cannot put the blame on anyone. There should be no doubt for all practicing lawyers in the country to know that,” Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika told Bonner.

He added that conditions of bail were clear “so you and your client should have appeared on Monday, so don’t pass the buck onto someone else.”

Vaki is expected back in court on November 16.


Sally Pokiton