Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape

Call for SOE is unnecessary, says Potape

Instead, he is calling on his colleague members of parliament to return to the province and take a lead in restoring normalcy to the province.

Potape was responding to media reports today where Member for Koroba Lake Kopiago, Philip Undialu called for a state of emergency to be declared in Hela Province. His call was supported by the Member for Tari Pori and Finance Minister James Marape.

State case lacks evidence, says Potape’s lawyer

Justin Haiara this afternoon submitted that his client has no case to answer to after prosecution closed its case yesterday.  

Justice George Manuhu, in hearing Potape’s no-case submission, reserved his ruling to July 21.

Haiara submitted that Potape does not have a case to answer to and that some or all of the elements in the charges have not been proven by the State.

He said the evidence as it is before the court is incomplete or insufficient for the defense (Potape) to present its case.  

Retrial of Potape's case deferred

The trial date was confirmed this morning after Potape and his lawyer, Justin Haiara, briefly appeared before Justice George Manuhu.

The matter was set to commence today however, State was not ready. Court was also told the matter cannot proceed as set because Potape has a Provincial Assembly meet in Hela tomorrow (Tuesday).

He flies to Hela today. This case will come for re-trial after the Supreme Court on July 31 last year quashed Potape's conviction and sentence after a successful appeal.