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In Court with Assumpta Buchanan
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24 July 2018
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* Biliki yet to consult lawyer
* Court yet to rule on trio’s trial
* Death inquiry into officers’ death
* Rape trial to start in Gizo

Biliki yet to consult lawyer

 

John Biliki, who is one of the first people to be charged in connection to the missing $10 million from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, needs more time to see his lawyer.

He was given more time on the last court date to see his lawyer, but appearing in the High Court recently, it seems that he is yet to speak with his lawyer.

As a result of this, his matter was further adjourned to August 3.

Biliki is facing 15 counts of false presence and 15 counts of money laundering.

He is now represented by Michael Holara from Public Solicitor’s Office.

This was after Holara’s colleague George Gray who previously represented Biliki withdrew his legal representation.

This was due to instructions he received from Biliki was in conflict of his responsibilities as his lawyer, resulting in the trial being vacated.

Biliki had also failed to turn up in court in May for his trial resulting in a warrant of arrest issued for him.

He was arrested soon after and is now being remanded in custody.

Biliki is accused of defrauding the government of $7.3 million between 1 January 2012 and 20 September 2013. 

A taxi driver labelled as the ‘toy boy’ in this scandal was already convicted and jailed for two and a half years in 2014 for receiving $1.5 million of the fund. 

Prosecution alleged Biliki colluded with some public officers from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoHMS) and then defrauded the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) on 15 occasions which totalled up to $7.3 million.

Prosecution also alleged Biliki registered and operated a shipping agent called Eroba Shipping Services and allegedly assisted to set up the Joke Shipping Service, also a shipping agent intentionally to make it look legitimate to unreasonable claims of payments from SIG.

These shipping services names were allegedly being used by Biliki and his associates and some officers from the MoHMS, to get several payments from SIG covering up Health Clinic projects in and around the provinces.

Biliki’s alleged co-accused, some of which were from the MoHMS were also already charged and their matters recently committed to the High Court pending trial.

They are former MoHMS finance controller Stephen Dalipanda, former MoHMS senior accountant Randy Hatigeva, former MoHMS procurement officer Robert Manu, former MoHMS accounts Officer Dalcy Maena and a local contractor Tigi Sikele.

Prosecution alleged the accused and other public servants from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services colluded with fake shipping agents to defraud the Solomon Islands Government for approximately $7.3 million. 

These millions of dollars were aid donor funding and Solomon Islands Government money purposely to support and improve rural health services.  

Prosecution alleged that these have severely affected implementation of health projects in the rural areas and has unfavourable impact on provision of government health services in the rural areas.      

The Director of Public Prosecutions Ronald Bei Talasasa and Public Prosecutor Margaret Suifa’asia are appearing for the Crown for this matter.

 


Court yet to rule on trio’s trial

 

 

A Magistrate is yet to hand down his ruling on the voir dire (trial within a trial) conducted on the case of three men facing a number of criminal charges including robbery.

The ruling was supposed to be handed down yesterday, but since the magistrate is reportedly sick, it was further adjourned to tomorrow.

Frank Firimolea, Lawrence Liliva and Fred Taebo Dara are contesting their admission in their interview with police.

They are claiming that they were allegedly tortured and forced to make the admission.

Principal Magistrate, Jim Seuika, will rule whether their record of interview will be used as part of the Crown’s evidence or will be thrown out.

A trial proper will be then fixed to hear evidences into the various offences of robberies, burglary, unlawful wounding and house break-in that were alleged to have been committed in June 2015.

They were co-accused with a juvenile, who was only 15 years of age at that time.

 The accused were allegedly said to be part of this group of armed masked men.

It was alleged this group invaded homes of expatriates, businesses peoples, as well as those of Solomon Islanders and removed valuable properties and money.

A number of home owners sustained injuries during the robbery incidents and some have to be flown overseas for medical treatment.  

Liliva is also facing a separate of armed robbery that occurred on 31 August this year at the residence of an official from the Taiwan Embassy office in Honiara. 

He allegedly committed this new offence whilst on bail for the offences he allegedly committed in 2015.

Prosecution alleged he and another man broke into the residence and assaulted the occupant before escaping with a laptop, a phone and a black bag containing $8,000.

Firimolea also faces three separate incidents on, which he was charged with escaping lawful custody, store break-in offence and armed robbery.

He was alleged to be part of a group of men who involved in an armed robbery that occurred at Panatina Ridge, East Honiara on 13 October 2017.

He and four others were arrested in relation to this armed robbery and were brought to the Honiara Magistrates Court on 18 October 2017.

Firimolea and his co-accused Nathaniel Eric Jr however escaped from the Honiara Magistrates’ Court on that day.

They were sentenced in March this year to 10 months imprisonment for this incident.

Just 11 days after their escape, these two men allegedly involved in a store break in at Kouvare, west Guadalcanal.

They were however acquitted of this alleged store-break in allegation recently in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.

Lawyers from the Public Solicitor’s Office are representing the accused while Police Prosecutor John Palmer appears for the Crown.  

 

 


Death inquiry into officers’ death

 

An inquiry into the deaths of three police officers at sea between Honiara and Yandina in 2006 will be proceeding starting tomorrow.

The hearing was listed to commence yesterday, but it was, however, further adjourned to tomorrow.

About 14 people are anticipated to be called to give evidence in the Coronial Inquiry conducted by the Coroner Principal Magistrate, Augustine Aulanga.

This is in relation to the deaths of Inspector Justus Waimani of Heon village, Arosi 1, Makira/Ulawa Province, Constable Stanley Piziki of Hunda village, Kolombangara, Western Province and Constable Walter Ratu of Sulufou, North Malaita.

The three officers died around the 28 September 2006 between Honiara and Yandina.

More details into this incident will be unveiled as witnesses gave their evidence once the hearing starts.

Public Prosecutor John Wesley Zoze will be assisting the Coroner.

 


Rape trial to start in Gizo

 

Trial is set to start tomorrow in Gizo, Western province on the case of a man accused of raping his teenage daughter at a village in Choiseul province in 2013.

The man who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim is facing seven counts of rape.

Prosecution is intending to call seven witnesses in the trial before Chief Justice, Sir Albert Palmer.

This matter was earlier listed as a reserved trial in May this year at the High Court in Honiara.

It was supposed to proceed at that time after another trial was vacated at that time.

This was due to financial difficulties in bringing witnesses over to Honiara in time for the trial.

The trial is now set to be heard in Gizo and supposed to commence yesterday, but was further moved to tomorrow because the complainant was not available.

The police officers who went to bring the complainant from where she is residing is yet to arrive in Gizo with her.

The father is accused of raping his daughter on various dates in 2013 at a village in south Choiseul.

The alleged victim was only 15 years of age at that time.

 The accused is being represented by Allan Tinoni of Public Solicitor’s Office while the Director of Public Prosecutions Ronald Bei Talasasa is appearing for the Crown.

 

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