Aipia and Hagberg’s case back in court today

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

THE case against Dr Reginald Aipia and his American business consultant will be mentioned again at the Honiara Magistrate Court before Principal Magistrate Ricky Iomea today.

In the last appearance, the court rejected the applications for the dismissal of charges against medical practitioner and entrepreneur Dr Reginald Aipia and his American business consultant Eric W Hagberg.

Principal Magistrate Ricky Iomea said the Magistrates Court has no power under the law in a criminal proceeding to discharge a person accused of committal criminal offence at the pre-trial stage.

The matter then adjourned to today for mention.

Aipia is facing charges of engaging in commercial aquaculture without valid licence and prohibition of catches and retains of beche-de-mer.

Hagberg is facing a charge of engaging in commercial aquaculture without valid licence.

The prosecution alleged that the two have been involving in an illegal beche-der-mer farming at the Ontong Java atolls, Malaita Outer Islands.

This is in relation to the activities done in July and August this year at Luaniua Island.

The activities done were allegedly breaching the Fisheries ACT and regulations and an investigation was carried out by Fisheries and Police which resulted to the charging of the two accused.

The office of the Director Public Prosecution is prosecuting the case in court.

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