Magistrate John Kaumi on Thursday delivered his ruling on the case saying there was insufficient evidence in court to commit Kapris to stand trial in the National Court.The court was of the view that the allegations raised against the former MP were based on opinions rather than facts.
The 53-year-old from Suapri village, Maprik District in the East Sepik Province was arrested in Port Moresby on September 13, 2016.
He was charged with two counts of misappropriation of properties, two counts of abuse of office, one count of stealing by false pretense and one count of conspiracy to defraud, all under the Criminal Code.
Kapris first appeared in court on Oct 4, 2016 where his charges were read and explained to him in court.
Police alleged that he misappropriated state properties valued at K3, 519,998.
The properties belong to the Maprik District and the state, which he allegedly misappropriated to his use and the use of others.
The misappropriation allegation dates back to when Kapris served as the member elect for the Maprik District, prior to losing his seat in the 2012 General Elections.
It is alleged that during his tenure as the Maprik MP, he purchased six brand new machines from Hastings Deerings in Port Moresby valued at K3,519,998.
The machines were taken to the District to be used for road projects. A company, allegedly owned by Kapris’ brother-in-law, was then engaged to work on the project.
The company was allegedly paid K400,000 by the District for the road works however, the machines were later moved to the Dreikikir District where a 3rd party agreement was signed for on an oil palm project.
Complaints were laid at the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate in 2014 that saw an investigation conducted, which led to Kapris’ arrest in September last year.
(Loop PNG file picture of former Maprik MP Gabriel Kapris and his lawyer outside court last year. Loop picture by Kennedy Bani)