BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
COURT has ordered for proper application to be filed for bail variation on the case against a man involved in a fraud case.
The accused, Peter Rockson, through his lawyer applied for bail variation for him to travel to Lordhowe on Sunday.
Daniel Kwalai of the Public Solicitor’s Office told the court that Rockson was represented by Serah Karani of their office and instructed him that her client wants his bail condition be varied.
However Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea said that the trial has already been set for September 18 and since Lordhowe has difficulties in shipping services; the court is reluctant to grant the variation of bail.
Magistrate Iomea said there should be proper application made and also if the accused can come back to Honiara before September 18.
He said the trial will not be vacated anymore and for the accused to travel to Lordhowe will likely disturb the court dates.
This is the case which involves corruption related offences of fraudulent falsification, false pretences and embezzlement.
The accused on the case Ms Malia Katalake, a former employee of the Solomon Tropical Product who worked 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 Island 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and June 21, 2008 Malia and Bolas made up false copra payments sheet under the ghost name Sisi David and fraudulently withdrawn a total of $152,570.80 from the company.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 Katalake was the mastermind 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.