Three men accused of obtaining more than $300,000 from selling fake gold bars to a former Minister in 2012 will be making an application to stay the false pretence charge laid against them.
The application will be heard on April 6 if the Honiara Magistrates’ Court has the jurisdiction to hear it, but if it does not then the application will be heard in the High Court.
The hearing of the application was supposed to be conducted on Monday but since some of the defence counsel were engaged in the High Court, the adjournment so they can be present in court as well.
John Ross, Gordon Billy Mark and Nelson Maeta are facing charges of false pretence which they wants to apply for a permanent stay.
They are also facing another charges of intimidation & molestation while Maeta was also charged for two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault.
The false pretence charges were in relation to an allegation between November 1 and 30, 2011 where the two accused and other men allegedly obtained more than $300,000 by selling fake gold bar to former Minister of Truth Reconciliation and Peace Hypolite Taremae.
Police alleged the men approached the alleged victim at his office at Antony Saru Building.
The men allegedly came to see the alleged victim with intend to obtain money through false pretence and designing a way to lure him into believing their made up stories.
The accused men and others allegedly told Taremae they were from Weathercoast in Guadalcanal and allegedly used fake names.
They allegedly told Taremae they will conduct a reconciliation ceremony in the coming days but did not have enough money to conduct the ceremony.
Police then alleged that men then showed a picture of a gold bar to Taremae which they claimed to be in their possession.
They allegedly said they have some gold bars which were stolen by the Guadalcanal war-lord Harold Keke that was taken from the former Ross Mining during the height of the ethnic tension.
The men also allegedly showed Taremae a certification letter from the Director of Mines that certify that the gold bars were gold and worth six million dollars.
Having heard from the accused and seen all the documents, Taremae was convinced.
They on various occasions between July and November 2011, the accused men allegedly handed Taremae three gold bars of which in return they received $300,000.
The accused however later found that the men lied to him and he took the gold bar to a gold dealer who confirmed the gold bars were not gold but were fake ones.
The bars were made from lead metal and painted with gold colour paint.
It was also alleged that the accused men threatened the case officer who is investigating their case that they will shoot him with a gun.
Police alleged the men claimed they still have guns and will hunt for the case officer everywhere and will kill him.
Hubert Fugui and Allan Hou of ANH Legal Service are representing the accused.
Public Prosecutor Bradley Dalipanda is representing the State in this case.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN