Kramer Tribunal reconvened this morning 24/April 2023 for Submissions on Penalty at 09:45 am.
Prosecution: PP Kaluwin/SSP Kuvi, D
Leader: Nemo Yalo/Leader Kramer, B
Nemo Yalo, the lawyer representing the leader advised the Tribunal that there were 3 Affidavits for Character Reference field by the Leader from:
- Prime Minister Hon. James Marape;
- Former Chief Ombudsman Ila Geno; and
- Fr Jan Czuba.
Mr. Yalo advised the tribunal that the Affidavit of the Prime Minister was incomplete in so far as the Prime Minister had not signed the Annexure to his Affidavit and therefore the document is incomplete. The Tribunal then adjourned for the Public Prosecutor to have a look at the document and decide whether to object or not.
After a short adjournment, the Public Prosecutor advised the Tribunal that he took no issue with paragraphs 1-9; paragraphs 11-15 were agreed by both parties to be omitted; paragraphs 16-23 there was no issue as it related to the leader’s character reference. The only paragraph in the Affidavit of the PM was paragraph 10 which the Public Prosecutor submitted to the Tribunal that the leader was introducing new evidence and therefore the annexed Hansard should be disregarded.
The Tribunal accepted the Affidavit and put on record that new evidence or issues that are deposed to in the Affidavit of the PM will be disregarded as the Tribunal has passed the inquiry and submissions stage.
Mr Yalo before proceeding asked the Tribunal to give the Leader an opportunity to speak and therefore the Leader was given the opportunity to address the Tribunal on the Categories of Allegations to which he was found guilty.
The Leader submitted a repetition of his submissions in the Submissions on Verdict in that:
Allegations 1 &2- the leader submitted that it was not his intention to scandalize the Judiciary and the Chief Justice of PNG by publishing his articles on his FB page and that the articles were based on an analysis of the facts as he understood them. And he, therefore, apologized for his misinterpretation of the Chief Justice’s notation to Miviri to deal with the matter.
Allegation 5- the leader submitted that Mrs Amet though being the wife of Sir Arnold Amet who was a close associate was not an Associate.
Allegations 7 & 8- establishment of the project office was to reduce costs associated with project implementation in that more funds are expanded to pay for contractors and therefore funds were applied to the benefit of the public.
Allegation 9- the leader submitted that he had met with DPM and in light of there being no forthwith response from DPM he proceeded to establish the Ward Project Office and the Secretariat.
Allegation 10- The leader submitted that there was no evidence that the Leader applied monies to his own use and benefit.
Mr. Yalo reiterated the submissions by Mr. Kramer and further brought the Tribunal’s attention to the Totality Approach in addressing the tribunal on the appropriate penalty and serious culpability. Mr Yalo made reference to several case precedents among which were the Dusava and NIlkare cases in his submissions on the degree of blameworthiness and the totality of the blame.
Mr Yalo also submitted for the Leader that the word ‘solicit’ as used in the article published by the leader was made under the understanding that the statement of fact and that the leader made a statement of fact hence there was no serious culpability. Mr. Yalo further submitted that the same privilege enjoyed by the Members of Parliament on the floor of Parliament under Section 115 of the Constitution applies in a properly constituted DDA Board meeting and resolution.
Mr Yalo therefore in summary submitted for the leader that there was no serious culpability and seeks the alternative penalties to be applied, hence, it was recommended to Tribunal that the leader be fined K1,000.00.
Public Prosecutor brought to Mr. Yalo’s attention that the Act had been amended and that the fine had increased to K20,000.00.
The Public Prosecutor proceeded with his submissions after lunch at 13:35 pm and spoke through his written submissions. Public Prosecutor expounded on the written submissions that the Leader was seriously culpable in his capacity of being someone that has commanded the support of a lot of people with status, the likes of former Chief Justice, former Chief Ombudsmen, former Counsel to the OC, and a higher expectation of how he conducts himself as a leader is expected. Public Prosecutor submitted that the leader is obviously held in high regard and therefore his conduct bears a lot of influence on how an ordinary person would react and form an opinion. The public Prosecutor further submitted that there is no doubt on the question of serious culpability of the leader and that the Tribunal should take the totality of the guilty charges and should be mindful to uphold the Laws.
The tribunal adjourned from 3:15 pm to 09:30 am Friday 28 April for a Decision on the Penalty.