THE court will be hearing evidences on the case of the Inland Revenue Division (IRD) officer accused of defrauding the government of much needed tax revenue, in July.
Chief Magistrate John Numapo set down July 3 to July 14 for the trial on the matter of Ellison Raoga.
This was after the pre-trial conference was conducted yesterday in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecution will be calling a total of nine witnesses.
The matter was then adjourned for an interim mention on May 30.
Mr Numapo told both the prosecution and the defence if they have any preliminary issues to raise, to do so during the interim mention dates.
This is to allow any issues to be sorted out first before the trial proceeds.
Anderson Kesaka of DNZ & Partners is representing Raoga.
Raoga is facing one count of official corruption and six counts of fraudulent falsification of accounts, of which he denied.
He was arrested and charged by members of Task Force Janus, accusing him of receiving payments for remitting a company’s tax worth more than $100,000.
The accused works as a Compliance Officer when he allegedly committed the offences between 2015 and 16 June this year.
Prosecution alleged he and another person having completed the Tax Assessments in respect to a Honiara-based logging company trading as Delta Timber Limited, allegedly entered into negotiations with a representative of that timber company for the waiver of their tax liabilities.
Prosecution alleged he solicited $30,000 payment for reducing Delta Timber Limited arrears to a zero balance,” the brief added.
He allegedly received $5,000 paid to him in two transactions.
It was unknown if Raoga received the outstanding $25,000.
Raoga was the second person to be arrested and charged for corruption offences since the Janus taskforce was established in August last year.
The first arrest was that of Steven Jude Oto, the financial controller of the Ministry of Police and Correctional Services for allegedly obtaining more than $800,000 through dishonest tender processes.
Suspended Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services Edmond Sikua was Janus’s third arrest.
Sikua faces seven counts of official corruption for allegedly awarding government tenders worth $630,436.50 to Beeds Investment, a company registered and owned by his two daughters.
The latest arrest was that of another IRD officer, Leslie Melaba who faces two counts of official corruption for allegedly soliciting discounts, payments and bribes in offering to unlawfully remit the Farmset Ltd tax liabilities.
Public Prosecutor Bradley Dalipanda represents the Crown.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN