RULING on whether or not the High Court can hear the appeal filed by the former permanent secretary for the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID), Henry Murray, will be handed down on February 25.
The ruling on this matter was supposed to be handed down on Monday by Justice Leonard Maina.
However, on Monday, Maina further adjourned the matter as he is yet to finalise his ruling.
Murray had appealed the Magistrates’ ruling last year that convicted him of defrauding the government of more than $700,000.
He was found guilty after a trial of 11 counts of official corruption for corruptly receiving $707,550 between 2014 and 2017 from vehicle hires.
Murray’s wife Rose, who was also on trial for 16 counts of 16 counts of false pretences, was however found not guilty of those offences.
Chief Magistrate Emma Garo said there are no evidence that signing the vehicle hire agreements in her maiden name, as opposed to her married name, would have made any difference whatsoever in terms of obtaining the benefit under the agreement.
Following Murray’s conviction, his lawyer Lazarus Kwaiga of L & L Lawyers lodged an application for “Stay of proceedings” in the High Court and the Magistrates’ Court.
Garo, before giving her ruling to the application, had been served with an order from the High Court.
Deputy Chief Justice Francis Mwanesalua had made the orders to stay the Murray’s sentence pending the determination of Murray’s appeal to the High Court.
Given this order, Garo then ordered Murray to be released on bail with no condition imposed on him.
An application to vary some of Murray’s bail conditions that restricted him to leave Honiara was also filed to the High Court.
That application is pending.
The bail variation is sought to allow Murray to travel today to the province for a week.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution is appearing on behalf of the Crown for this matter.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN