Case against Katalake & co-accused tomorrow

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

THE trial into the case of Malia Katalake and other two accused has been adjourned for tomorrow for trial.

Public Prosecutor Freliz Fakari told the court yesterday that the lawyer representing one of the accused is at the High Court on another civil trial and will not be possible to attend the trial.

Therefore permission was sought if the trial could be moved for tomorrow (Wednesday).

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

The allegation produced before the court says that the accused on the case, Ms Katalake, is a former employee of the Solomon Tropical Product who worked as a plant manager when the alleged incident occurred.

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

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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and June 21, 2008 Malia and Bolas made up false copra payments sheet under the ghost name Sisi David and fraudulently withdrawn a total of $152,570.80 from the company.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 master mind of the company scandal and she at her own discretion before submitting to the office receptionist to have them calculate and raise the payment according to what names appear on the copra sheet.

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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