Kimisopa appears before committal court

Former member for Goroka Open, Bire Kimisopa, appeared before Magistrate Tracey Ganaii at the Waigani Committal Court today for mention.

Kimisopa is on a K1,500 bail and appears for three charges of official corruption.

He stood before Magistrate Tracey Ganaii as his charges were read; one count each of official corruption, conspiracy and misappropriation. 

He had allegedly committed these crimes in his capacity as the member for Goroka and chairman of the Goroka Development District Authority in 2017.

The court heard that he had conspired with two other persons defrauding the Goroka District Development Authority for signing and approving three invoices totaling to K517,000, without following proper procurement process and procedures under the DSIP Administrative guidelines and Public Finance Management Act.

According to the court summary of facts, between the 3rd of January and the 30th of April 2017, Kimisopa with two other office clerks allegedly directed and facilitated K517,000 to a named consultancy company.

It is alleged that during a DDA meeting, the accused had introduced an agenda of the extension of the university centre at Kabiufa Adventist Secondary School, which members of the DDA agreed to allocate K500,000 to the company to carry out preliminary work.

It is said that the defendant however, approved the payment for the project on 2nd January 2017 well before the DDA met on the 4th of January.

It is also alleged that Kimisopa had engaged his electoral staff as the consultant for the project.

Meantime, the attempt by Kimisopa’s lawyer to adjourn the case to three months’ time because of the Goroka by-election hearing at the National Court was rejected by Magistrate Ganaii.

His case has been adjourned to a months’ time; on the 11th of August. Magistrate Ganaii instructed the accused to appear in person at the court house, unless sick, his lawyer will have to write a letter to inform the court that he will be absent for the court hearing. 

Jemimah Sukbat