Former NIO boss guilty

The Waigani National Court has found the former acting Director General of the National Intelligence Organisation, Maika Bruno guilty of misappropriation.

Justice David Cannings on Tuesday convicted Bruno of two counts of dishonestly applying a total of K91,000 to his own use and the use of others on Nov 4, 2013.

From Rasese village, Namatanai, New Ireland Province, he was convicted after the court found that the state proved its case beyond reasonable doubt following a trial.

State called 10 witnesses during the trial while two witnesses were called by defence.

Justice Cannings in convicting Bruno used his discretion to extend his bail. He also ordered the Community Based Correction officers to compile his pre-sentence reviews by Feb 13 before the matter returns to court on Feb 16.

Bruno was committed by the Waigani District Court on Jan 20, 2016 to stand trial in the National Court.

He was found guilty today for obtaining K55,000 on Nov 4,2015  and applying it to a legal firm the next day for a civil proceeding he commenced in the National Court after he was replaced as the acting as the director of the NIO.                                                      

The court found that he drew that cheque despite meeting with Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc and his replacement, Gari Baki on October 29, 2013. During that meeting Sir Manasupe confirmed that the National Executive Council had decided that Bruno would be replaced by Mr Baki.

Bruno went to the law firm concerned that same day and instructed the firm to act for him in his capacity at NIO without the approval of the Attorney General to engage the firm as per the requirement under section 7 of the Attorney General’s Act.

Court also found that on or about Friday November 1, 2013, the law firm engaged, filed an originating summons in the National Court, OS No 573, by which various orders and declarations were sought.

Bruno was also found guilty of obtaining K36, 000 from the NIO by false pretense, by authorising the release of the cash monies as special operations allowance for “Operation Black Tee-Shirt”.

Justice Cannings said Bruno’s evidence for the K36, 000 was vague and unconvincing as no acquittals were done on the money he received right outside the Bank after it was cashed.

“There was no evidence that the accused made any attempt to acquit the cash. The accused had the opportunity at the trial to state who the cash was given to and why, but failed to take the opportunity,” the judge added.



Sally Pokiton