HON BRYAN KRAMER STANDS BY HIS COMMENTS
December 13, 2022 – The National Main Stories
SUSPENDED Madang MP Bryan Kramer says his social media publications purportedly scandalizing the judiciary, was based on facts.
Kramer, while giving evidence before a leadership tribunal looking into the 12 allegations of misconduct in office against himself, which he disputes, said the intention to publish on his Facebook account was to inform the public about facts.
He said his post was never intended to bring the court or a judge into disrepute, lower the authority of the court, lower the authority of the Chief Justice, interfere with the due course of justice, interfere with the lawful process of the court, endanger public confidence in the court or undermine public confidence in the administration of justice as alleged.
On allegations accusing former prime minister Peter O’Neill and his lawyers of filing a fake warrant of arrest to deceive and mislead the court in 2019, Kramer said he had posted after the matter was determined by the court, hence he did not interfere with the due course of justice.
Kramer told the tribunal, chaired by Judge Lawrence Kangwia and assisted by magistrates Josephine Nidue and Edward Komia, that his publication only reflected on O’Neill’s conduct and not the court’s.
He said in his opinion, there was a special relationship between Sir Gibbs and O’Neill because O’Neill had released a media statement when Sir Gibbs was appointed Chief Justice.
Kramer said his post: “A relevant matter to note that the Chief Justice was only recently appointed by O’Neill late last year…” was referring to the O’Neill-led government’s appointment of Sir Gibbs as Chief Justice.
He added that in his view, it was unethical that O’Neill’s lawyer had sent a letter to Sir Gibbs for the matter to be heard when there was already an order by Justice Nicholas Miviri for the matter to be heard on Oct 21, 2019.
On the allegation that the termination of Paul Puri Nii, former director legal services (now Waigani committal court magistrate), was due to Kramer’s interference in police operational matters, Kramer denied this.
He disputed Nii’s evidence and added that he was not aware of his termination until a later date.
On the allegation that Kramer had published Sir Gibbs’ letter of complaint to police against him, Kramer said the letter had been leaked and was posted by someone else.
Kramer said there was evidence by the OC that someone else had posted that letter.
Other allegations against Kramer relate to decisions made by the Madang development authority (DDA) to establish its own company, Madang District Works and Equipment Ltd and Madang Ward Project Ltd.
Kramer said the allegation that he had allowed an associate company namely, Tolo Enterprises Ltd, to benefit through consultancy services to the Madang DDA was wrong as he had no association with Tolo Enterprises and had not benefitted from the company.
He said Tolo Enterprises was engaged by the DDA on merit.
On the allegations of misappropriating funds on rental payment of the Madang ward project office which the OC alleged was double-dipping, Kramer said the office was set up for the purpose of projects and not for his personal benefit.
The tribunal also heard that Kramer was not notified by the Public Prosecutor when the Ombudsman Commission referred the matter.
The matter returns today for public prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin to continue cross-examination.