PRIVATE lawyer Wilson Rano was acquitted yesterday in the Magistrate’s Court of charges of forgery, uttering, and false pretence.
His co-accused, Nitlon Chite and Rodey Hiva al received the same fate.
This was after the prosecution withdrew their case due to lack of evidence.
This acquittal came amidst criticisms from the complainant Mr Tahu who accused the DPP of applying two sets of criminal laws.
The DPP, who came out both in this paper and SIBC, had made it clear that there is simply no case to try Mr Chite, Mr Hiva and especially Mr Rano and that the criminal justice system is but one system.
Mr Tahu has openly complained in the media that he was depressed when he learned of the intention to withdraw the case.
Mr Rano, however, commented that Mr Tahu is fighting a desperate and losing battle and has been since the beginning of the land disputes between him and Mr Hiva over customary land known as Choe Customary Land.
“These criminal cases were the last attempt by Mr Tahu to try and nullify the decision of the New Georgia Local Court decision who has held that Choe Customary Land is owned by the tribe which Mr Hiva and Mr Chite represent,” Mr Rano said.
“Mr Tahu and his supporters thought that by going to the criminal justice system it would ease their difficulty in overturning the New Georgia Local court decision.
“Whilst Mr Tahu appealed to the Western Customary Land Appeal Court, it is quite clear that the appeal may not succeed especially when the only ground is that the New Georgia Local Court should not have proceeded especially on the allegation that the Unaccepted Settlement Form was forged,” Mr Rano said.
He said that this whole criminal case is just an abuse of process.
Mr Rano added that this is not the first time Mr Tahu has abused the process of the Court.
“In fact it has become habitual for Mr Tahu and his party to abuse the process of the court.
One only has to go through the court records to reach the conclusion that Mr Tahu has abused the court process and at the cost of someone else meeting his bills.”
Mr Rano said the Office of the DPP knows this and any lawyer who understands the law would certainly laugh at such ridiculous charges.
In respect of the National Criminal Investigation Division (NCID), Mr Rano said that there are at least 5 to 10 corruptions cases that have been referred to them for investigation over the past years but have not been processed and investigated.
“Yet my case was only referred to last year and it was propelled to become the priority for Constable
Michael Kemadika,” he said.
Asked if there was any reason for this, Mr Rano said that only Constable Kemadika knows but it appears there are independent agendas being pursued rather than the interests of justice.
“The whole investigation was from the beginning complete and utter nonsense, as mentioned earlier I am not going to fund the learning curve of the police but I will forgive them for their ignorance and lack of knowledge about the law,” he said.
Mr Rano claimed that there are ulterior motives behind the attempted prosecution.