Fraud case moved

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

TRIAL into the case against Malia Katalake and two others will continue from July 23 to August 3 this year.

The trial was scheduled to resume this week, but since Katalake’s lawyer is busy with another case, it has been adjourned.

Principal Magistrate Tearo Beneteti set the tentative as the matter was heard by the Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea.

Ms Beneteti said she will set tentative dates but will be confirmed by the presiding magistrate therefore she adjourns the case to May 7 to confirm the trial date.

This is the case which involves corruption related offences of fraudulent falsification, false pretences and embezzlement.

The accused on the case Ms Katalake; she is a former employee of the Solomon Tropical Product and was working as a plant manager when the alleged incident occurred.

She is charged with two other co-accused, her husband Peter Rockson, 30, of Lord Howe, Malaita Outer Islands and 29-year-old Junior Morris Bolas from Choiseul.

Rockson faces four counts of receiving and soliciting while Bolas faces seven counts of receiving.

Katalake was responsible for receiving copra from local farmers, scaling and writing on receivable company document (copra inspections and payment forms) for farmers who came from the province.

The allegation said that between January 1, 2008 and June 21, 2008 Malia and Bolas made up false copra payments sheet under the ghost name Sisi David and fraudulently withdrawn a total of $152,570.80 from the company.

Police alleged Malia was the mastermind of the company scandal.

Most payments were alleged to have been done on cheques at the National Bank of Solomon Islands, now the Bank of South Pacific, and Malia and Bolas were the ones who collected and cashed the cheques at the Bank.

The matter was reported to police by the complainant, John Vollrat, who is the general manager of the Solomon Tropical Products, a company that deals with local farms by purchasing, processing and exporting of copra.

Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears for the state.

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