*Aimo: "Lord have mercy on his lying tongue"
*Pruaitch: "Flabbergasted and innocent of this saga"
*Marus: "Allow the rule of law to take its course"
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
MEMBERS of parliament named by convicted bank robber William Kapris in court have denied the accusations levelled against them, The National reports.
Correctional Services Minister Tony Aimo said he forgave Kapris for the accusations and "pray that the Lord has mercy on his lying tongue".
In a personal explanation to parliament yesterday, Aimo said the Post-Courier headline was "misleading and not true".
"The court will not let itself be misled into believing a common convicted criminal," he said.
"But, that is the court's business. I stand respectful to the courts.
"As a leader, I know I am innocent. I still maintain my dignified innocence.
"I forgive this common convicted criminal, Kapris, for those false accusations and may the Lord have mercy on his lying tongue," Aimo said.
Aitape-Lumi MP and State Minister assisting the Prime Minister Patrick Pruaitch, in a follow-up personal explanation, categorically denied any involvement with the bank robber.
He said it was unbecoming of a criminal and newspapers to divert attention to seek sympathy from the courts.
Pruaitch apologised to the people of Aitape-Lumi and West Sepik for what he called "this unfortunate allegation".
"I am flabbergasted; I am totally innocent in this saga," Pruaitch said.
Earlier, acting Speaker and member for Talasea Francis Marus, in response to questions by new deputy opposition leader Sam Basil, said the matter was before the courts and he would not comment.
"We must allow the rule of law to take its course," Marus said.
Maprik MP and Commerce and Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris, angered by the same surname of the convicted criminal, said he had conducted his own investigations into his family in Kimbe, West New Britain, and found that "the name is Kapis and not Kapris".
"The convicted criminal is spelt as Kapis and not Kapris," the minister said.