Court yet to decide trial date on Panga’s case

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

THE trial date on the case against the former premier of Guadalcanal province is yet to be set as the defence counsel has issues with the tentative trial date that has been set by the court.

Appeared before the Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea the Public Prosecutor told the court that a tentative date was already set and the appearance on Monday was for counsels to confirm the date.

Meanwhile DCM Iomea said that from the record in the file the Magistrate who presides over the case already set a tentative date but that date will not be convenient for the defence lawyer.

Magistrate Iomea also said the presiding Magistrate refuses to change the date and asked to re-allocate the case to another lawyer.

A lawyer from the Public Solicitor’s Office Lazarus Waroka who appeared in court then said that the accused did not want another lawyer to represent him therefore Panga’s case has not been re-allocated.

Mr Waroka also told the court that from instruction obtained from Panga’s lawyer September 10 will not be convenient but he wants the trial date to be fixed for April next year.

Magistrate Iomea then adjourned the case to Friday to allow Mr Panga’s lawyer and the prosecution sort out the trial date with the Magistrate who will preside over the case for trial.

This is the case of Stephen Panga who was charged with one count of abuse of office in relation to incident occurred when he was a premier.

Police alleged that Mr Panga allegedly misappropriated the sum of around $10,000 of money received as part of his duties.

It was alleged that he received the money as a false rate payments from a local member of the community.

Police recently said that Panga’s case was a historical case as it happened way back when he was the Premier of Guadalcanal Province.

Public Prosecutor Bradley Dalipanda is appearing for the crown.

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