Panga’s trial adjourns to Wednesday - Solomon Star News

Panga’s trial adjourns to Wednesday

07 November 2018
Former premier Stephen Panga

Trial on the case of the former Guadalcanal premier facing a charge of abuse of offence has been adjourned to Wednesday.

The adjournment was done on Tuesday to allow prosecution to make an application to admit some witness’s statements before opening their case.

Principal Magistrate Jim Seuika therefore moved the matter to today to allow that application to be made first.

Stephen Panga is accused of committing the offence when he was the premier of Guadalcanal Province in September 2013.

The alleged incident occurred on 28 September 2013, where Panga allegedly instructed a revenue officer of the Guadalcanal Province office to give him three receipt slips from the revenue receipt book.

The prosecution alleged Panga used the receipt slips to collect cash owing to the Guadalcanal Province.

The accused allegedly used one of the receipts to collect $10,000 from a person who owned two parcels of land at Lungga in the Henderson area, East Honiara.

The money was for the payment of outstanding land rental to Guadalcanal Province but Panga allegedly did not remit the money to the provincial treasury, but used it for his own benefit.

According to the prosecution case, Property Rate’ is a fee paid by any person (customer) who owns property outside the Honiara city boundary but within the GP (Guadalcanal Province) jurisdiction.

Property Rates are collected as revenues and paid by customers to the GP Cashier at the GP Head Office and can be also be collected by the GP Revenue Officers.

All revenues must be lodged to the GP Cashier who will then deposit them into the GP Assembly account with the ANZ bank, Honiara branch.

The matter was reported after a receipt from the GP Revenue Office book was discovered in the possession of the person who owns the two parcel of land at Lungga.

Michael Pitakaka of Michael Pitakaka Law Chambers represents Panga while the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is appearing for the Crown.