A FORMER Correctional Service officer facing multiple fraud charges involving more than $100,000 has been asked confirm he will represent himself or still requires his lawyer’s assistance.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Shepherd Lapo asked the accused Don Lisi Talu to make a decision on the next court hearing on December 14.
Having gone through the court’s file yesterday, Mr Lapo noted that this would be Talu’s fourth appearance without his lawyer.
“According to the record hereyou have appeared about four times in person without your lawyer,” Mr Lapo said.
When asked who his lawyer is, Talu said he forgot the name of his lawyer.
Public Prosecutor Freliz Fakarii, who appeared on instructions of her colleague Margaret Suifa’asia, informed the court that Sarah Karani of Public Solicitor’s Office represents Talu.
She however said Ms Karani is currently on compassionate leave.
Mr Lapo said the matter is going towards the trial stage.
The court will be hearing the pre-trial conference and then set a trial date.
“Prosecution is ready,
“It is your side that is pending,” Mr Lapo told Talu.
He remindedTalu that since his lawyer is on compassionate leave he has no choice but to move the matter to next year to hear the pre-trial conference.
The matter was however, adjourned to December 14 for the accused to inform court of his decision whether to stand alone or still want his lawyer to represent him.
Mr Lapo will go on leave after December 14 and resume work next year.
He also acknowledged Talu’s appearance in court over the past court hearings.
Talu had on a previous court hearing pleaded guilty to three charges of forgery, uttering and obtaining money on forged documents in relation to $2,000.
He however, denied 54 charges of forgery, uttering, obtaining money on forged document, obtaining money on false pretence and false pretense in relation to more than $100,000.
The father of four allegedly withdrew more than $100,000 from the bank account of Thomas Rubulegu by forging his signature.
He allegedly transferred the bank credit from the Complainant to several accounts and withdrew the money for him.
Police further alleged he used the proceeds for his personal use.
The alleged incident occurred on several occasions between 15 December 2014 and 23 January 2015 when he was working for the Correctional Service of Solomon Islands.
According to the allegations, the accused got hold of two Bank of South Pacific (BSP) cheques, which he claimed he found at a Vura 1 home, Honiara.
Police said the two cheques were already signed with the name of the Complainant on it.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN