Lau’s court proceedings transferred to Madang

The Waigani Committal Court today transferred court proceedings for Madang Provincial Administrator, Frank Lau, to the Madang District Court due to lack of jurisdiction.

Presiding Magistrate, Albert Daniels, transferred the case because the Waigani Committal Court did not have jurisdiction to proceed with the matter, considering the alleged offense was committed in Madang.

“In the current district court act, transfer proceedings are dealt with in section 24. This means that this court can transfer proceedings to Madang.

“Simple reason is the geographical location of the court versus the geographical place of offense; it is too far from each other. That is why there is an actual distance the law requires. It requires that if you are going to lay information, it must be within thirty-three kilometers from the case of offense,” Daniels said.

The Police Prosecutor and Lau’s lawyer had argued that the proceedings be heard in the Waigani District Court.

In response, Magistrate Daniels said their submission to have the matter remain in Waigani is going against what is normally practiced in court.

Magistrate Daniels then warned Police Prosecutors not to bring in a case that is outside of the jurisdiction of the courts in Port Moresby because chances of striking out the matter is an option the court can take for the simple reason of want of prosecution.

The magistrate adjourned the matter to June 10, 2024. It will be heard before the Madang District Court.

Outside of court, Lau’s Lawyer, Kevin Makeu said they welcome the ruling to have the matter transferred to Madang.

Lau was arrested on April 18th, 2024 in Port Moresby, and charged with Conspiracy to Defraud, Abuse of Office, False Pretense, and Failure to Comply with Requirements of the Public Finance Management Act.

He was detained at the Boroko Police Cell and released on release on a K20,000 Police bail. He currently in Madang, and has resumed the role of Provincial Administrator.

Loop Author