LOCAL businessman Dr Reginald Aipiais demanding the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) to compensate him for loss of business and purported unlawful arrest.
His demand came following a Court of Appeal ruling last Friday that stated the 1972 Fisheries regulation.as amended (including Regulation 13A). were repealed by the Fisheries Management Regulation 2017.
Furthermore, the ruling stated the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulation 2009 (including 13A) was no longer in force.
The case filed by Sol Law in the High Court raisedthe question if the court case of illegal harvesting was legal or 1972 fisheries regulation as amended including Regulation 13A was repealed.
The case was filed by Sol Law on behalf of Chen Zhen Company Limited, Zhang Tongzi, Chen Zen, Solomon FVC New Process Import & Export, CI Frank Sheng Song, Oceanic International Limited and Xu Kiang.
Magistrate Ricky Iomea and the Commissioner of Police were the named defendants.
The High Court decision earliar this year went in favor of the defendants (Magistrate and Commissioner of Police) but the Court of Appeal decision overturned that.
The Court of Appeal upheld that the 1972 fisheries regulation as amended (including Regulation 13A) was repealed by the Fisheries Management Regulation 2017.
And the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulation 2009 (including 13A) was no longer in fource.
This means that the ban on bechedemer enforced by fisheries was not legal because section 13A of 1972 fisheries regulation was repealed by the Fisheries Management Regulation 2017.
DrAipia, who is also a medical practitioner, said fisheries authorities ordered his arrest although they knew section 13A of the Fishery regulation 2009 was repealed in 2017.
“So now the Fishery have to pay for the loss of business and defamation of character and unlawfully arresting me then,” he demanded yesterday.
“I fought a good fight in the magistrate court over the criminal case and was acquitted. I then took the fishery and police for their illegal activities.
“That’s the reason why the Sol Law take it to court for question if the court case of illegal harvesting was legal or section 13A of the fishery action was repealed,” he explained.
He said the Court of Appeal decision has revealed the truth about how the ministry was run by its administrative heads.
“It was the fisheries heads that reported me to the police.”
Dr Aipia said the ministry must compensate him for losses incurred by his business and for defaming his character and reputation during his unlawful arrest and his business partner last year in Ontong Java, by the patrol boat.
Dr Aipia said the court decision shows the truth about how people in authorities of the government manipulate things by making discriminative decisions.
“Which in my case they have chose to arrest me knowing very well that the 1972 fisheries regulation was repealed by the Fisheries Management Regulation 2017,” he pointed out.
By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI