EAST Guadalcanal Member of Parliament Bradley Tovosia and former Guadalcanal premier Anthony Veke yesterday denied the allegations made against them.
Tovosia entered not guilty pleas to one count of abuse of office and 13 counts of demanding with menaces while Veke pleaded not guilty to one count of abuse of office and one count of demanding with menace.
They will both appear again in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court on January 30, next year for a pre-trial conference.
They allegedly committed the offences way back in July 2010, when Tovosia was working with the Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly and Veke the Finance Minister for the province.
It was heard in court yesterday Tovosia demanded three people working in the province to sign cheques from the salary accounts of the Guadalcanal province on 13 occasions in July.
Veke allegedly demanded a female working in the province to sign a provincial cheque.
Earlier in court, Tovosia’s lawyer Nuatali Tongarutu raised concerns on the delay the disclosures, of which she said prosecution served the disclosures two days late prior to the date as ordered by the court for prosecution have it served to them.
She said she personally had to go the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions before disclosures were made to her.
She also raised a concern in relation to the sanction issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding the charge of abuse of office against her client.
Mr Tongarutu wrote to the DPP after she noted the requirement to serve the sanction was not served to her.
She therefore requested if the DPP can sanction the charge of abuse of office to which she had just received before the court proceeding yesterday.
She noted the sanction was signed in July 11, about five and a half months that the sanctioned was signed.
She further raised the concern of delay over three years period, since the matter was investigated in 2010 and her client charged this year.
Mrs Tongarutu also intend to make an application to the court which she said if court hears can determine whether the case will go to trial or will conclude.
Principal Magistrate Jim Seuika said that application can be made after the pleas yesterday to during the pre-trial conference.
The court also heard the matter is yet to be allocated to a prosecutor.
State prosecutor Florence Joel said that will be done before the next court appearance.
Anderson Kesaka of DNS & Partners law firm is representing Veke.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN