In Court with Assumpta Buchanan - Solomon Star News

In Court with Assumpta Buchanan

10 October 2018

* Letade’s trial to High Court
* Sentencing soon for Qazobatu
* Councillor’s pre-trial moved

Letade’s trial to High Court

THE man who allegedly tried to rape a teenage school girl on her way back home from school at the at the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil (GPPOL) in northeast Guadalcanal this year has been committed to stand trial in the High Court.

This followed a short form preliminary inquiry (committal hearing) conducted on the matter of Andrew Letade, 27, who faces one count of attempted rape.

Having looked through the committal papers and finding sufficient evidence against him, Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea made the orders for his matter to be committed to the High Court for trial.

Letade was charged in relation to an alleged incident on 30 July 2018 at the GPPOL area.

Prosecution alleged that at about 2pm on that day, the alleged victim was on her way home from school when the accused allegedly attacked her and then allegedly tried to rape her.

The alleged victim was allegedly attacked while trying to take off her slippers since the path way through the plantation was muddy and slippery.

It was alleged Letade hit her back and then slapped her face using his both hands.

Letade then allegedly then held on tightly to the alleged victim’s eyes which made her dizzy and then allegedly committed an indecent act towards the victim.

He however did not succeed in allegedly trying to take off her clothes as the alleged poked one of his eyes with a pen.

As a result, the accused let go of the alleged victim who then went on her way back home.

While walking, she met up some GPPOL workers and told them of what had happened.

The GPPOL workers went after the accused and took him to Ngalibiu station and then contacted the Tetere Police.

Police at Tetere came and arrested Letade and later charged him for the alleged offences.

The Public Solicitor’s Office is representing the accused while the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is appearing for the Crown.

Sentencing soon for Qazobatu

THE former employee of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) who confesses to stealing more than $400,000 from the bank will be sentenced on October 26.

This came after the sentencing submissions and mitigation done on the matter of Tommy Qazobatu yesterday before Principal Magistrate Jim Seuika.

Qazobatu had pleaded guilty to 19 counts of larceny & embezzlement by clerk or servant on the last court appearance.

He previously denied those charges and a trial had commenced in the past weeks in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.

It was after prosecution had called their eighth witness that Qazobatu denied to change his pleas to guilty pleas.

The former CBSI officer is being charged with offences relating back to 2015 and 2016 when he was working as a payroll officer and accounts exchange officer for the CBSI.

The total amount of money stolen is about more than $400,000.

Ronald Dive of Ron Law is representing Qazobatu while Public Prosecutor Jasper Anisi appears for the Crown.

Assisting Mr Anisi is his colleague Patricia Tabepuda.



Councillor’s pre-trial moved

A HONIARA City Council (HCC) Councillor accused of obtaining about $89,000 from a woman over the sale of a plot of land at Ranadi, Honiara has been given more time for his lawyer to look through his pre-trial conference documents.

John Wale Urifois facing 15 counts of false pretence, on which, he denied.

His matter came to the Honiara Magistrates’ Court yesterday for a pre-trial conference.

The pre-trial conference was however, not done as his lawyer needs time to go through the pre-trial conference documents.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea therefore adjourned the matter to October 16, for the pre-trial conference.

Urifo is being accused of allegedly obtaining about $89,000 from the alleged victim Cathy Roy.

Prosecution alleged Urifo introduced him to Cathy as the Chairman for Land Standing Committee for HCC and confirmed to her that her application for a land which she has submitted to the (HCC) council has been approved.

The accused allegedly told Cathy that her application for the land site at Ranadi is now approved by the Land Standing Committee and that they were going to prepare a 50 years lease Agreement for the executive to discuss about before finally submitting it to the Ministry of Lands for title transfer to her name.

Prosecution alleged that between 4 April 2016 and 7 March 2017, the accused have obtained money from the alleged victim claiming the money were part of the lease payments, survey fee, physical planning report fees, survey report fee, fee for the signing of approval of the lease and payment fee for Ministry of Lands.

The total amount of money inquired by the accused from the alleged victim during the whole process was SBD$89,000.

The alleged victim started to conduct a follow up after the last payment on 7 March 2017, by contacting the accused through his phone but the accused allegedly never responded to any of her calls.

The accused only allegedly repaid $5,300 following attempts made by the alleged victim to have the accused repay her money.  

Robert Firigeni of Taisisi Lawyers is representing Urifo while Police Prosecutor IeteTebakoa appeared yesterday for the Crown.