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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Mar. 10) – A Papua New Guinea man found guilty of rape but let off with a suspended sentence by the National Court in Lae two weeks ago is in police custody.

This time it is for a different charge — absconding bail over an earlier charge of theft through false pretence.

The Lae District Court last week issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Jerry Buka after he absconded bail conditions over the theft charge.

Lae City Metropolitan Superintendent Simon Kauba confirmed that Buka was arrested on Monday and was in police custody awaiting a court appearance. Mr Kauba said police had acted on the bench warrant to arrest Buka after he failed to report to the district court on appointed times.

Police said Buka was arrested and charged with stealing through false pretence last year. He was allowed out on bail.

It was alleged that Buka had obtained 210g of gold nuggets worth almost K10,000 (US$3,100) from a village prospector from Kainantu last year, with the promise to sell to an overseas buyer at a higher price.

Buka, according to police, sold the gold nuggets and kept the money. After several failed attempts to get his money back from Buka, the village prospector reported the matter to police who arrested and charged Buka.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Prosecutor Chronox Manek is expected to file an application before the Supreme Court this week to appeal the alleged light sentence imposed on Buka after being found guilty on two counts of rape.

The National Court in Lae had imposed a seven-year suspended sentence on Buka and placed him on a two-year good behavior bond.

The light sentence imposed on Buka has ignited huge public criticism.

March 10, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:


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