Court deliberates on police officer’s verdict

The National Court is deliberating on the verdict of a police officer attached with Traffic who stood trial on misappropriation allegations last week.

Justice Danajo Koeget today heard submissions on verdict from state prosecutors as well as council for the accused, Andrew Mulungu.

The officer from Tari, Hela Province, is facing three counts of misappropriating a total of K62,500 between 15 July, 2010 and 30 November, 2011.

The complainant in this case, who is now deceased, was a primary school teacher for 31 years in Hela.

After retiring, he came to Port Moresby in 2010 to access his POSF entitlements when he met Mulungu, the traffic police officer.

The state alleged during the 16-month period, Mulungu misappropriated the property of Stanley Tigi Hangu three times.

K42,800 was used to purchase a Hilux Utility single cab at Ela Motors, K18,000 was spent to buy a Toyota Camry sedan while K1,700 was used to register a business name at IPA and register the vehicles.

Mulungu's lawyers said all the transactions were done under the consent of Tigi Hangu, adding he did not act alone.

However the state put to court that none of the assets were returned to the family of Tigi Hangu after his passing.

It was also put to court that records obtained from IPA on the business record as well as MVIL showed the vehicles were registered under the accused’s name from the time of purchase and not the complainant, whose hard earned entitlements was used to purchase the assets.

Justice Koeget is now deliberating Mulungu's verdict and will give a ruling at a later date.

Sally Pokiton