State withdraws charge against Twivey

A criminal trial against prominent lawyer Tiffany Twivey will not go ahead in the Waigani National Court this week.

This comes after a Public prosecutor presented a notice of withdrawal on the charge that was laid against her.

The notice of nolle prosequi, dated June 19, was presented in court this afternoon before trial judge and Deputy Chief Justice, Sir Gibbs Salika.

This now means that the trial will not go ahead at this stage. The court ordered a refund of her bail of K1000 and discharged the allegations against her.

Twivey was to stand trial on one count of perverting the course of justice in 2015. She was arrested and charged on April 11, 2016.

It was alleged that Twivey, as principal of her law firm, while acting on behalf of her client, Dairi Vele, between July 28 and 30 of 2015, substituted Chief Inspector Timothy Gitua’s name without his knowledge and the leave of court with that of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary as the informant in the information charge against Vele.

She allegedly did so in an application at the District Court to set aside an arrest warrant against Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele.

Chief Inspector Gitua was the lead investigator in an alleged illegal payment of K50 million to an Israeli Company, for the purchase of two diesel turbine power generators.

Vele was alleged to have given the directions for the payment. A warrant for Vele’s arrest was issued by the Waigani District Court on July 22, 2015, as a result.

However, on July 29, 2015, Twivey allegedly filed an application at the District Court to set aside the warrant of arrest against him, where she substituted the names.

On July 30, 2015, a stay order was successfully obtained, stopping the arrest of Vele, pending the outcome of the application to set aside his warrant of arrest.

That stay order remains to date.

(Loop PNG File picture.)

Sally Pokiton