High Court officer faces court for missing $20,000 - Solomon Star News

High Court officer faces court for missing $20,000

19 August 2014

A High Court officer yesterday appeared in the Honiara Magistrate Court to face an embezzlement charge in relation to a missing $20,000 at High Court registry office.

Patterson Pou, the High Court office manager was accused of converting for his own use $20,000 collected and received by the High Court for Security of Cost for a civil case number 35/2011.

The court was told due to evidence the money was in fact received by the High Court without any deposit to the Ministry of Finance, implies the completion of the whole offence in terms of Embezzlement.

Police alleged that on February 24, 2012, a man deposited $20,000 at the High Court registry for Security Cost in relation to his civil case pending Court of Appeal determination.

Another High Court officer attended to the man and issued him with a General Treasury Receipt after paying the money and retained a duplicate copy.

He also signed the receipt with relevant details including the date, amount and purpose.

The money was later refunded by the Solomon Islands Government through the man’s lawyer after he won his civil case.

Pou’s appeared briefly in court yesterday and his matter was further adjourned by Principal Magistrate Shepherd Lapo to September 15.

This is to allow police to serve disclosures to his lawyer Wayne Ghemu of the Public Solicitor’s Office.

Police Prosecutor Abel Maelanga said he will make sure disclosures are served before the next court date.