Western leaders seek bail on medical conditions

The Supreme Court will give its ruling on Thursday at 3pm on a bail application sought by imprisoned Western Governor Ati Wobiro, the former Western Provincial Administrator Dr Modowa Gumoi and businessman Norman Carl May.

Their bail application, pending a Supreme Court appeal against conviction and sentencing, was moved this afternoon before Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia after they were sentenced to 10 years in prison last Friday.

The main ground of the bail application sought was on their respective medical conditions.

Governor Wobiro, Dr Gumoi and May all have serious medical conditions which their lawyers, Ian Molloy and Goiye Gileng, say justifies the grant of bail pending their appeals.

Medical reports presented to the court as affidavits in support of the bail application states that Governor Wobiro has asthma, diabetes 2, hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Court was told he has been a heart patient for well over 10 years and attends medical reviews twice a month at the Pacific International Hospital.

Dr Gumoi’s medical report was done by a doctor based in Kiunga. He is said to be suffering from hypertension, previously suffered a minor stroke and underwent an operation in Brisbane.

As for May, the court was told he is a patient of the Sir Buri Kidu Heart Foundation. He underwent surgery in January 2015 in Singapore, a week prior to his arrest. He also suffers from hypertension.

All three applicants had the affidavit of the Bomana Jail commander Haraha Keko supporting their application. It says the medical facility at Bomana is very basic and for common diseases and cannot monitor, treat or regulate their medical conditions.

But Commander Keko, in an affidavit filed on Nov 22 for the State, also said a Community Health Worker can attend to a prisoner on medical request and if they are unable to help, the prisoner can be referred to a private clinic or hospital outside Bomana.

Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin, for the State, submitted to the court that the medical reports relied on by the three applicants did not refer specifically to what they currently suffer from, except their medical history.

He said for Governor Wobiro, medical reports showed he was seen by doctors in 2008, 2009 and seven years later in 2016. “What happened between 2009 and 2016? Was he not sick?” he said.

For Dr Gumoi, Kaluwin submitted to the court that based on the medical reports, he went before a doctor in May 2014 and later on Oct 25, 2016, after he was convicted. “Is he really suffering? What happened between 2014 and 2016?”

Molloy told the court that the conditions of his clients are life threatening and speak for itself. He added that all three risk heart attack.

Sally Pokiton