Sios case dismissed

A criminal case against prominent businesswoman Janet Roland Sios has been dismissed by the Waigani Committal Court due to insufficient evidence to commit her to stand trial.

The case was also dismissed because no statements or affidavits were filed in the court files of the current case by the complainant and the witness.

The ruling of the case involving the alleged abuse of an ICT service (Facebook) as stated in the charge was handed down on today (Thursday) by Magistrate Mekeo Gauli.

Sios, 52, from Namatanai district, New Ireland Province, was arrested on July 1 last year for using an ICT service; Facebook, to allegedly post offensive, insulting and defamatory remarks to her Facebook friends for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to a Lady Nii Cragnolini.

These allegedly took place between September 15 and October 1, 2015.

She was charged under section 266(1)(b)(ii) of the National Information and Communication Technology (NICTA) Act.

The complainant, Lady Nii Cragnolini, is a Chinese businesswoman of the L&A Group of Companies based at Six-Mile.

“I am of an opinion in good faith that there is insufficient prima facie evidence being established against the defendant (Sios) to commit her to stand trial due to the fact that both the complainant, Lady Nii Cragnolini and the witness, Gorethy Kenneth, have never filed their statements in the police file,” Magistrate Gauli said in court.

The court was also of the view that the statements relied on in this current proceeding were the same ones that were used in a previous Civil proceeding at the Port Moresby District Court, which was also struck out. No affidavits were filed by the complainant or the witness stating they intend to rely on previous statements filed.  

Magistrate Gauli said the fact that the proceeding in a civil case has been dismissed means that any affidavit evidence given in that proceeding cannot be used in a later criminal proceeding.

He said the intention to cause inconvenience or annoy the complainant, as charged under section 266(b)(ii) of NICTA Act, has not been established because those messages were posted directly (inbox) using Facebook to one Gorethy Kenneth and not to the complainant Lady Nii.

Sios’ bail monies will be refunded as ordered by the court today.

Sally Pokiton