District court refuses to relax Schram’s bail conditions

The Waigani District Court has refused to relax bail conditions for former PNG University of Technology vice chancellor, Dr Albert Schram.

Dr Schram had filed for bail variation on the 10th of May to allow him to travel to Italy to bring back the original copy of his PhD certificate – which is the subject of his case.

His lawyer, Greg Manda, from Greg Manda lawyers, had filed the application under section 20 of the Bail Act.

Section 20 (1) states that a person granted bail in relation to a proceeding or the other party to the proceeding may apply to a court at any time, after reasonable notice to the other party, for a variation of the terms and conditions of bail.

Magistrate Alex Kalandi presiding over the matter says while that section allows the defendant to file for bail variation, section 23 of the Bail Act does not give jurisdiction to the District Court to give permission to leave the country.

Section 23 (1) states;

Where for urgent personal reasons or by reason of his occupation a person granted bail in relation to a proceeding wishes to leave the country for a temporary period before the commencement or conclusion of that proceeding, he may, after reasonable notice to the other party, apply to the National Court or Supreme Court for permission to do so.

Based on that, Magistrate Kalandi refused to allow for bail variation.

He said the defendant can sought permission through the National or Supreme Court.

Outside the Court, Dr Schram told this newsroom he will still pursue his rights at the Courts.

Manda said following this District Court decision, they will now file the bail variation with the National Court by this afternoon.

(Waigani District Court filepic)

Charmaine Poriambep