By JAYNE SAFIHAO, The National
Speaking in court before Justice David Cannings, Kapris said his rights had been deprived since his 25-month imprisonment at Bomana and that his human rights had been abused.
“Even in Madang, I am still under tight security,” he added.
“Our case is a big case. It’s our life, but I have not been allowed access to my lawyer David Dotaona.
“My family and I are willing to pay for travel and accommodation costs. I am being treated like a terrorist,” he told the court, adding: “I want to be treated like a normal state prisoner.”
However, Justice Cannings said: “This is not a human rights abuse case. If you have any human rights complaints, then you can bring it up with your lawyers, the same goes for the others with similar complaints.”
Kapris and 14 others were appearing in relation to the Madang BSP heist in 2008 during which K2 million was stolen and a substantial amount was yet to be recovered.
Cannings allowed an application by senior state prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin to adjourn the case to this morning.
Kaluwin expressed concern that the 10-day trial period was “not realistic”.
Asked why by Cannings, Kaluwin said this was because the matter had changed hands with different prosecutors as well as the need for him to speak to the defence counsel.
In his response, Cannings said: “We had a series of pre-trial earlier in the year. We originally set this trial for May but, due to your office’s slackness and lack of capability, we have been delayed. I had to personally ring the acting public prosecutor to sort this matter out. So, I will allow for tomorrow (today) at 9am.”
Then Cannings asked Kaluwin: “Do you think you will be prepared then?” When Kaluwin responded with a “we’ll see”, Cannings said: “That you will.”
Kapris’ suspected accomplices, 14 (named) and all smartly dressed and mingling like in a high school re-union after the court, were represented by Lae-based state solicitor’s office, a private Lae-based lawyer and Dotaona.
The courthouse was cordoned off, including the provincial government building area, disrupting normal business as the public and people living along the Kina Beach residential area tried accessing the nearby offices to have a glimpse of proceedings.
Off duty policeman Sgt Joe Mbur said: “The temporary arrangement by concerned authorities is causing unnecessary inconveniences. Kapris should just be treated like any normal prisoner.”
Reporters were not allowed to take photographs of the prisoners outside the court house.
Police are on a 24- hour vigil around the courthouse area as a precautionary measure.